Scotland Sevens coach Calum MacRae makes changes for Hong Kong and Tokyo on HSBC World Sevens Series

Scotland Sevens coach Calum MacRae makes changes for Hong Kong and Tokyo on HSBC World Sevens Series

Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae has named one new cap in his squad to compete at the Hong Kong 7s (Friday 27 to Sunday 29 March).

Glasgow Warriors stand-off Fraser Lyle will win his first cap for Scotland 7s, in just over a week's time. This will be the first time he has represented his country at any level.

A further three changes have been made with Lee Jones set to make his 20th appearance for the abbreviated national team. He was last involved in Port Elizabeth, earlier this year.

Damien Hoyland and Colin Gregor also return having missed the last round in Las Vegas.

The Hong Kong tournament comes just a month before Scotland's home event, the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s, which will be played on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May.

MacRae said: "Our live sessions, in training, have been very competitive with some new faces entering the mix, ahead of Hong Kong and Tokyo.

"Our toughest pool to date waits for us in Hong Kong, therefore experience and belief are going to play a big part in how we progress.

"Fraser [Lyle] has acquitted himself very well since entering training. I see him giving the team go forward with his strong running game and he can put it about defensively.

"At 26, he has clearly grafted to get to this point in his rugby career and I'm sure he will make a lot of people very proud when he takes the field in Hong Kong.

"Lee [Jones] is a real competitor and has the positive mindset to back himself against any player or team he comes up against. He's a guy you'd take to battle with you.

"James [Fleming] came in and held his hand up in Wellington and Las Vegas with some outstanding defensive efforts to go with the tries he scored at important times.

"He will challenge Damien Hoyland for the starting jersey. This is a chance for him to back up those performances. Russell [Weir] played with a lot of maturity in Las Vegas. He has an edge that rubs off on the guys around him, not accepting second best.

At the Hong Kong 7s, Scotland will face New Zealand on Friday night, in a repeat of last year's opening fixture (kick-off 12.22pm).

They will then meet Australia at 4.40am, on Saturday before completing Pool B against Portugal at 7.58am (all times GMT, live on Sky Sports).

MacRae continued: "The New Zealand game will set the tone of the tournament, win, lose or draw. They are a formidable outfit who work hard for each other.

"We know that delivering on the things we have worked on in training will make us very competitive.

"Portugal throw the ball around well and if teams fail to shut them down they will play right to the wire, as we found out on the Gold Coast when we drew with them.

"They turned Wales over in the Shield final in Las Vegas which showed they are a good team, while the Aussies are a side we have a lot of respect for.

"They play direct when they need go forward, and have intelligent ball players who move you about off the back of that. First up one v one tackles need to be on the money.

In addition to the Scotland 7s squad announcement, MacRae revealed that Gavin Lowe and Jamie Farndale will travel to Hong Kong to compete in the GFI HKFC Tens with the Scottish Exiles.

The tens acts as a precursor to the main sevens event and will be played on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 March. This is the fourth year Scotland 7s have teamed up with Hong Kong Scottish to enter a team in the tournament.

The Scottish Exiles will play Gavekal Mongrels (5.30am), Natixis HKFC (8.50am) and Samurai International (12.35pm) on day one (all times are GMT).

MacRae said: "Hong Kong Scottish have had an affiliation with the Scotland 7s for a while now. Both Gavin and Jamie have outstanding rugby ability and fitness, so this is a chance for them to put into practice the things they have been developing in training.

"Its great that they have the opportunity to pull on a local Scottish jersey and compete in a challenging tournament as part of their development. We're very grateful to Hong Kong Scottish for this partnership.

Scotland 7s team to compete at the Hong Kong 7s (27-29 March) and Tokyo 7s (4-5 April): Scott Riddell, Joseva Nayacavou, Chris Dean (Edinburgh Rugby), James Johnstone, Colin Gregor, Mark Robertson, Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby), Nyle Godsmark, Russell Weir, James Fleming, Lee Jones and Fraser Lyle (both Glasgow Warriors).