The Black Ferns Sevens have suffered a major setback in their world series campaign with try scoring sensation Portia Woodman facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering an achilles injury.
Woodman suffered the injury at training earlier this week and is having surgery on it.
Also out through injury is Niall Williams who has a knee problem but is expected to be fit for the side's matches in Hamilton in January.
Their absence sees the return of Gayle Broughton and Stacey Waaka who will meet the squad in Dubai straight from the Black Ferns XVs tour in France, while Youth Olympic Games captain Risi Pouri-Lane is also named in the 13-player squad that will leave for the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for the tournament which runs from November 29-30.
The Black Ferns Sevens opened the season with victory at the Glendale Sevens in the United States last month.
"This season the focus is on gaining Olympic qualification and doing that the best we can so we need to start well in Dubai and play each game as if it's a final."
The team depart for Abu Dhabi tomorrow to train for a week before heading to Dubai for the tournament.
They will play Kenya, Russia and Ireland in pool play.