AUSTRALIA'S chances of winning its first rugby sevens World Series tournament since 2012 have received a blow after experienced forward Jesse Parahi was ruled out on Friday.
Parahi had been named as one of four inclusions to the 12-man squad, but was then ruled out of next week's Hong Kong Sevens after injuring his ankle at the side's final training session.
Despite Parahi's late scratching, Australia will head to the most prestigious event on the circuit full of confidence after welcoming back a few familiar faces.
Boyd Killingworth returns to add some grunt in the middle, while backs John Porch and Charlie Taylor are the other new additions.
Sam Myers - who had been filling in for injured skipper Lewis Holland - has been ruled out after failing to recover from his own fitness issues.
Tom Lucas will instead lead the team in Hong Kong.
"Sadly he's (Myers) not fine," Friend said on Thursday.
"He's been one casualty.
"He's at about 90 per cent, but this game is 100 per cent or not at all.
"Sam played on Tuesday (during an in-house match), but he couldn't open out as we needed him to so we've pulled him from selection."
Australia hasn't won a tournament since 2012 and heads to Hong Kong in sixth position on the overall series standings.
The team has regularly progressed to the knockout stages of tournaments, but Friend said a lack of communication had contributed to his side's shortcomings.
"At the end of every tournament, and at the end of every game we lose, the comments are always the same," Friend said.
"We had limited opportunities or we didn't communicate well here or the reason they broke the line was because we weren't talking to each other."
Australian squad for Hong Kong: Tom Lucas (c), Simon Kennewell, Boyd Killingworth, Ed Jenkins, Lachie Anderson, Tim Anstee, Nick Malouf, James Stannard, Liam McNamara, John Porch, Henry Hutchison, Charlie Taylor; 13th man: Alex Gibbon