DIGICEL Fiji sevens coach Alifereti Dere says he has named players who have the ability to fill the void left by key players in the national squad.
Dere yesterday released the names of 24 players earmarked for the 2012/13 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series.
Six members of the national team from the 2011/12 IRB Series were retained while a host of players that featured in the Digicel Cup competition have been drafted in the squad. Veteran Setefano Cakau, Levani Botia, Joji Ragamate, Timoci Vakadranu, Ilai Tinai and Niko Verekauta are the players retained from last season.
Osea Kolinisau, Sailosi Raboniqica and Taniela Rawaqa have been recalled and given a chance to redeem themselves.
Nadroga speedster Apisalome Waqatabu has also got the nod along with the likes of Samuela Saqiwa, Alipate Ratini, Apisai Domolailai and Ulaiasi Lawavou.
Youngster Josua Tuiova has his dreams of donning the national jumper like his father Gabrieli Naborisi and elder brother Pio Tuwai alive after making the cut.
Notable exclusion from the squad is former 7s skipper Watisoni Votu who earlier showed interest in joining the team.
However, Votu has reportedly signed a contract with Exeter Chiefs and awaits his visa to join the England-based club.
Dere said the selection of the squad was based on the experience and fitness of the players. The former national skipper said he picked players who could adjust into their system and cover up for the players that had left for greener pastures.
Metuisela Talebula, Waisea Nayacalevu, Nikola Matawalu, Joeli Lutumailagi and Avenisi Vusuinubu, who featured for the national side in the past series have snapped overseas deals.
"The players included in this squad are capable replacements for those who have signed overseas contracts," Dere said.
"These players have experience and there is a good depth in the squad which will provide us with plenty options."
Dere said as part of their selection criteria, the players had to play 15s rugby throughout the season to be considered.
He said in the past series, they saw national players succumbed to the pressure and were unable to make comebacks when dictated by their opponents.
Dere said they wanted players that had the ability to handle pressure and make quick decisions at crucial stages of the game.
"Playing 15s gives players the confidence, improves their match fitness and enhances their technical level to match players from New Zealand, England and other top teams," he said.
"It also helps them to become more mature as a player."
Dere also indicated the plan of using two teams in the 2012/13 series.
"This will give players enough time to recover and reduce the injury level in the squad."
The 24-member squad will march into camp on Tuesday at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua. Players are to report to the Fiji Rugby Union house at 9am with their camping and training gear.
The 2012/13 series will start with Gold Coast 7s in Australia on October 13.
Fiji 7s squad - Setefano Cakau, Levani Botia, Sailosi Raboniqica, Apisai Domolailai, Ulaiasi Lawavou, Timoci Vakadranu, Samuela Saqiwa, Peni Ravai, Joji Raqamate, Ilai Tinai, Osea Kolinisau, Niko Verekauta, Leone Taburua, Samisoni Viriviri, Alipate Ratini, Apisalome Waqatabu, Manueli Laqai, Ledua Ratumuri, Mosese Varamusu, Josua Tuiova, Taniela Rawaqa, Donasio Ratubuli, L. Mau, Aisea Druma