Manila, Philippines: The Philippine National Development XV, is set to take on the Hong Kong’s Senior Warriors in their final match this Saturday, 12:00 PM at the International School Manila.
The Philippine National Development team, proudly sponsored by Transcom, will be looking to secure the series for the first time. The Transcom Development Series has been held in Manila for three consecutive years. The Philippines are looking to change the script for this year’s event.
“Last year we had a tough outing against a very disciplined and organized Warriors side, but a year has passed and our veteran players know the expectations to win. We have been preparing well. For a few of our players this will be their first taste of international rugby, but they’re ready to take the challenge.” says Manuel Olondriz, Team Captain.
The National Development XV features some of the best local Filipino heritage players. This year ten clubs from across the Philippines will represent the makeup of the national team. The team will be coached and led by Ai Den Ng.
“The series gives local players the opportunity to shine. Hong Kong is a powerhouse nation in Rugby, we both have a great relationship, and they want to develop the game locally, so do we. Both have agreed development is the key to sustaining a growing game in Asia. Hong Kong will select a full Chinese heritage team with no expatriates. We have also committed to select only Philippine players based locally in the Philippines. No players from overseas will be flying in for this match.” shares Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
This is not the first time Hong Kong and the Philippines have arranged a series to develop rugby talent in 2017, both Unions faced off in an U19 National Development Series in August. The players who graduate from the U19s progress to this open division.
Manila, Philippines: The National U19 Rugby team, the Jr.Volcanoes will face fierce rivals Malaysia in their bronze medal match up this Saturday after conceding to a 27 points to 6 defeat at the hands of Korea.
The Jr.Volcanoes, powered by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation, showed true grit in their much anticipated match up. The Volcanoes came out of the gates with fire in their chests, holding out a physical Korean outfit in the first half.
The Koreans leaped to a 10 to nil lead after thirteen minutes, it wasn’t until Ryan Santos kept the Philippines in the match with his super boot, kicking two penalty goals and bridging the gap to 10 points to 6 with three minutes to play. After some positive team play in the final stages of the first half, the Philippines looked to take the lead after Wiremu O’Reagan broke the line however was desperately covered short by a suburb Korean defence. A penalty after the siren took the Korean’s out to a 13 to 6 lead at half time.
The second half started strongly for the Philippines, a match which was physically brutal for both teams. A standout for the Philippines, Jeromy Cairns, provided strong ball carries and solid defence, he continuely tested the Koreans. Kai Stroem led the team as always in attack and defence. With 13 minutes to play, at 13 to 6, Korea leaped on a loose carry, scoring making it 20 to 6. A penalty try after foul play by the Philippines kept Volcanoes completely out with the final scoreline 27 to 6.
“It was close for the majority of the match. We held our own. Against a bigger, fitter and more experienced outfit the last 10 to 15 minutes was always going to be our toughest. Credit to Korea, they finished strongly. As all teams aim too. Proud of our guys though, we know we have what it takes to win at the international level. If we had scored in the final stages of the first half, could have changed the game. It’s a promising sign” Kai Stroem, Team Captain for the Philippines shared.
“They held in there, played with heart and belief. We always knew Korea would be physically dominant. Our players didn’t back down, sets up a great match for Saturday. True to it’s design, it’s a developing program, aimed for Philippine Rugby to test themselves against Asia’s best at a youth level. We saw that tonight. Allows our Union to bench mark where we are at, see what improvements need to be made, so we can continue to develop the standard of how we play” shared Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
The Jr. Volcanoes will now look to play Malaysia for a Bronze medal finish. In other results, and in another close match, United Arab Emirates (UAE) progress to the final.
At 13 points to 14 after the first half, UAE also put in a second half performance racing away to win 34 to 13 win over Malaysia. The result sets up Korea and UAE for the Gold medal match, the Philippines fighting for Bronze.
Manila, Philippines. The U19 National Rugby Team, the Jr. Philippine Volcanoes, take on tournament favorites Korea this Wednesday in the opening round of the U19 Asia Rugby Championships.
The Asia Rugby Championships returns to Manila, with four teams contesting for the title. The Philippines will be seeded fourth, Korea second, United Arab Emirates third and Malaysia first, after Malaysia was relegated from the Premier division.
This is the fourth time the Philippines has hosted the international event. The aim of the tournament is to develop the next batch of Rugby stars for the Philippine Volcanoes. The Philippines compete in the U19 division each year, it acts as a stepping stone in the pathway for the National Youth System. Luckily the support from Asia Rugby, the Philippine Sports Commission, First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation, allows Philippine Rugby to host the event as the game continues to be recognised as a growing sport in the Philippines.
"The U19 program is a youth development program, nurturing young talent and identifying future Volcanoes. It allows these athletes the opportunity to play on an international stage. Having a successful National Youth Program ensures the Volcanoes and the national Rugby team has depth for the future.“ shares Jake Letts, Director for Philippine Rugby.
“It’s important to invest in our youth, provide them a pathway into international competition. With the SEA Games being hosted in the Philippines in 2019, we want to be able to identify a few players from this program so we can invest in their future” added Letts.
The Jr.Volcanoes will be boosted by the return of Kai Ledesma Stroem, Rhys Jacob Mackley and Ryan Ralston Santos. Stroem and Mackley, already making their mark on the seniors level. Santos has also been earmarked to be a top draft pick for the US system, after he graduates from the International School Manila next year with an aim to play at a collegiate level.
“Its always exciting to be part of this program each year, last year Korea actually won the championships. We are expecting another tough encounter in our first match. We have been in training camp preparing well under our coaching staff, come Wednesday we will be ready for Korea” Stroem, Team Captain for the Volcanoes last year.
The team will be lead by coaches Stuart Woodhouse and David Johnston, both experienced to the international level in Asia.
The Volcanoes will kick off the first match at 5:00pm, with the second match between United Arab Emirates and Malaysia at 6:45pm. Games are to be hosted at International School Manila.
Philippine national girls Rugby team are on their final preparations for the upcoming Asian Qualifiers for the 2018 Youth Olympics. The tournament will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Nov 29-30.
This will be the first time that the Philippines will send a U17 national girls team. The Philippines has been drawn in Pool C together with Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
The tournament will feature 12 nations across Asia vying for one qualifying spot for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October, 2018.
“Being the first ever national age-grade female team is a remarkable achievement for our sport and the girls. The players shall be the benchmark in the development for the future female rugby talents who will join the national team ranks” shared Head Coach Madille Salinas.
“It's a step in the right direction for Philippine Rugby, these young girls will have the opportunity of a lifetime to not only represent their country on the world stage for the first time, but to be the first athletes to state their case for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games. Women’s rugby is growing in the Philippines, in Asia and across the World. It’s great for the game” shared Jake Letts, acting Director for Philippine Rugby.
The players are products of the Get Into Rugby schools program, a program designed to grow Rugby in the Philippines and across Asia. The PRFU, with the help Asia Rugby and the Philippine Sports Commission have committed to train and develop coaches to help achieve the goal of reaching 15,000 new players each year leading to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The timing for the tournament is ideal, as Ada Milby, Secretary General for the PRFU and Asia Rugby Exco Member, was voted in to represent Asia on the World Rugby Council, a first time in history for the game, as World Rugby (International Federation) have announced the inclusion of 17 women to be represented on the council. Rugby is committed to achieve the International Olympic Committee’s target of a minimum of 30% representation for women across all levels of governance.
The girls kick off day one tomorrow and will face Sri Lanka at 12:44pm in their opening match and Hong Kong at 3:00pm to round off the pool games. The finals will be decided by the ranking of each team in their respective pools to be played on Thursday, 30th November.
The Singapore Skyllas Rugby Club will travel to the Philippines for the annual Transcom International Development Series. The International Development Series takes place this Saturday November 25th, at Southern Plains Sports Field, Canlubang, Laguna.
The match will be hosted by Philippine Rugby and will be the third year for the event.
This year, the Singapore Bedoks as they are more commonly known, will be sending two teams to face the Philippines National Development teams, a team composed of players form different regions in Metro Manila, Davao, General Santos and Cebu.
The development matches have seen victories from both teams, Singapore winning in 2014, and the Philippines winning in 2016. Women’s rugby is fast growing in Asia which serves the main purpose of this development series.
“Im very excited about the upcoming games. The girls have been working hard for the last five weeks and are coming together really well. We have a lot of pace and power across the squad and if we can function well as a team and nail our core roles in the contact area then I think the ladies will get the result they are looking for” said Christopher Arpon Bird, Head Coach.
Bird is also a current Men’s National Player, playing for the Philippine Volcanoes. Rassiel Sales, who’s has played in the last two series shared “This series is more exciting with the entry of our new players who are displaying passion, commitment and hard work. It has gotten all of us even more pumped up for the coming games”
Kick off will be at 1:30pm for the Women’s B Match. The main game will be 3:00pm for the A match. Entry is free.
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