NATIONAL sevens rugby coach Alifereti Dere will keep the remaining players from the 2011/2012 HSBC Sevens World Series (SWS) for the upcoming season.
They are last season's captain Setefano Cakau, Lepani Botia, Joji Ragamate, Ilai Tinai, Niko Verekauta and Timoci Vakadranu.
Dere said these players had experienced top level competition and knew what to expect in the SWS.
He said the players would be retained because they wanted to keep the momentum going from last season.
The players were among the 42 named for the second fitness test at the HPU Gym in Suva yesterday.
He said 24 players would be selected depending on the fitness test results to be part of the main training squad for the 2012/2013 SWS.
"The remaining players from last season will be kept to be the core of this season's squad," Dere said.
"This is because they have played and performed at that level and we want continuity from them.
"They have momentum from the last season because we won the last tournament in the series and we want to keep that momentum flowing."
Players from last season, who are playing club rugby overseas, are Nemani Nagusa, Waisea Nayacalevu, Metuisela Talebula, Joeli Lutumailagi, Avenisi Vasuinubu, Jimilai Naikadawa and Nikola Matawalu.
Another one of last season's stars, Isake Katonibau, has not been considered for selection because he is suspended from all levels of rugby by the International Rugby Board following some miscommunication regarding a drug test.
"We have heard from the IRB that he (Katonibau) must not be involved in any form of rugby so we will abide by that. His loss is a big blow to us because we know what he was capable of on the field. Now we are looking for players of his calibre to fill in the gap left by his suspension."
The former national sevens captain said three teams would be selected from the fitness test.
He said the strongest teams would be selected for the first leg of the 2012/2013 series that begins with the Gold Coast Sevens on October 13 and 14.
"The players in the other two teams will continue training and players in necessary positions will be fed into the main side depending on injuries," Dere said.