The first tropical storm this year blew by last week. It seems to have blown the winds of change through the Hong Kong team which took on a new look as they left last night for their opening encounter in the HSBC Asian Five Nations in Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates, on Saturday. The starting line-up for the Arabian Gulf match, the first of four games in this inaugural season, is hardly recognisable from the last warm-up game against Tunisia this month. 'Injuries and unavailability have forced us to make a number of changes. But the good thing is I don't believe these changes will weaken us. It shows we have more depth all round,' said Hong Kong captain Nigel Clarke. The most significant change is the presence of Simon Leung at No8. The HKCC player has always figured in the front row at club level, but coaches John Walters and Brian Higgins feel he is versatile enough to fill the big shoes of injured captain Semi Iafeta. 'The coaching staff feels this is Simon's natural position. He is a fantastic player and although it will be the first time he will be playing at No8 for Hong Kong, I'm certain he will go well,' Clarke said. There will also be a new scrumhalf/flyhalf combination with Jonny Elliott and Justin Temara taking over from Andrew Wong Kee and Kenzo Pannell. Wong Kee is unavailable while Pannell will start on the bench. Hong Kong's other scrumhalf, Mark Wright, has returned to England. 'The fact that Lee Cheuk-yin will once again start on the bench shows our depth in reserves. And it was a very tight call between starting with Juddy [Temara] or Kenzo at flyhalf. Once again we have back-up in quality players,' Clarke said. Among the other changes in the backs is the return of Gavin Hadley into midfield, while Rowan Varty has switched to fullback from the wing, filling in for injured vice-captain Colin Bisley.