The U19 Junior Volcanoes, proudly supported by First Pacific, MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Sports Commission are all set to take on the host nation Thailand in the opening match of the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 Championships.
The Philippines will face strong competition in the Division 1 series, competing against Thailand, China and Singapore, to see who will be crowned 2018 champions. The competition kicks off tonight at Bang-Bon Stadium, Bangkok, with China playing Singapore in the first match followed by the Philippines taking on Thailand.
The Junior Volcanoes are comprised of 17, 18 and 19 year olds, a rugby development program supported by MVP Sport Foundation for the Philippine Volcanoes. The young Volcanoes have been in an intensive training camp since Friday under Men's National Coaches Stu Woodhouse and David Johnston.
“It’s always a much shorter and intense training camp for this group. Gathering talent from the Philippines and overseas has it’s challenges, especially with the timing of this program, however we know it’s always worth the investment. Having our senior quality coaches here helps their preparation and enables them to fast track their learning process ahead of the competition” shared Jake Letts, the General Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The U19s program for Philippine Rugby was first established in 2006, and since the program's inclusion several key players have gone ahead and graduated to the Men’s senior program. An outcome which is exactly what the program aims for.
Earlier this year, four players from Men’s 15s Championship winning Philippine Volcanoes team came from the U19s development program. Experienced players Gareth Dela Rosa Holgate (class of 2006), Daniel Bembo Matthews, Ned Plarizan Stephenson and Ricky Alarcon Kucia (all class of 2008) were all selected for the senior playing group and helped the Volcanoes to a first place finish in 2018.
“This program has always played an important role for the development of our national programs. It enables our youth to have a platform to perform for the National Coaches and go on to represent the country at a senior level. I have seen a number of remarkable players come through, it’s an important program we want to continue and invest each year” shared Letts.
This year the Junior Volcanoes will be looking at their firepower through brothers Jeromy and Manaia Zafra Cairns, both earning selection in the forward pack. Jeromy earning Team Captain this year. A debutant Tom Canon Coleman will be looking to impress further, after earning the Vice Captaincy role for the national team. At flyhalf, Matthew Imperial Davie will lead the team around the field with the assistance of Jason Bonilla Schirmer at fullback. Overall the Philippines have strong mix of experience with new faces and will be looking for a victory in the opening match tomorrow against Thailand.
The first match will kick off tonight at 7:15 pm MNL time, and be streamed live via the Volcanoes Facebook page.
For more information you can contact the Philippine Rugby at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018 international season for Philippine Rugby continues this December as both the Women’s National Development Team, and the U19 Junior Volcanoes take the field to once more before the years end.
2018 for Philippine Rugby has been one of the most successful seasons to date, the Men’s National Program has achieved success across all levels. The Men’s Residents XV team defeated Guam in April in a one off international exhibition match, the Men’s 15s team were crowned Champions over Singapore in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships, the U19 National Development Team defeated the Hong Kong Junior Warriors in the First Pacific Cup, and lastly the Men’s National Sevens Team finished with a Bronze Medal in the 2018 Asia Sevens Series, making them the 3rd highest ranked team in Asia.
Not only success in the Men’s Programs, national success was achieved with the Women’s also. A silver medal finish in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Women’s Championships in June and an additional Silver Medal finish in the 2018 Asia Trophy Series in October capped off a remarkable international season for the Lady Volcanoes.
“It’s been a positive year for our international programs, we hope to add two more successful campaigns to finish off 2018” shares Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
This Saturday sees the Lady Volcanoes development program take on the Singapore Bedoks at Faith Academy. Both teams traditionally set for a close encounter. “Last year the Bedoks got away with a close win, hopefully this year our ladies can get one back. We are currently playing in top form, so hopefully we can finish on another high” shared Letts.
The U19 JunIor Volcanoes are also in preparation for an international competition. The youth program also backed by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation are preparing for the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 U19s Championships in Bangkok, Thailand next week. The Volcanoes will face hosts Thailand on Tuesday in the hope to secure a place in the final either against China or Singapore on Friday, December 14. Letts sees it as more of an opportunity to scout future talent.
“The U19s program is very important to what our future holds, these players will be the basis of our National Teams in the future. It’s a great opportunity for our athletes to impress our current national coaches at an international level”
The U19s will be coached by Stu Woodhouse and David Johnston. Philippine Rugby have been fortunate enough to have First Pacific and MVP Sports Foundation as headline investors for these programs, as they help support and pave the future for Rugby development in the Philippines.
The U18 national girls rugby team, sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and First Pacific, have embarked on an international tour to India as part of Philippine Rugby’s continuous growth to develop women’s rugby across Asia.
The Philippines will join 11 other nations as part of the 3 day event, with the opening ceremony kicking off tonight before the first round of games. The young lady Volcanoes have drawn top seeds China, Laos and Qatar in Pool A. Other nations competing in the event include Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hong Kong, Nepal, Chinese Taipei and hosts India.
The national youth womens team comprises of the top up and coming talent across the country. The athletes have been selected as part of the grassroots development program across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Inna Kwan represents Cebu and the Visayas, Diana Cosare, Aira Lumanta and the Hifume sisters Angelie & Angela representing Davao and Mindanao. Maylene Dadivas of the Makati Chiefs, Ysabel Del Fierro of the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks and Yamani Dumlao of the Subic Sharks also being selected. Four members of Eagles RFC will compete the line up, Satchi Gonzalez, Briela Baui, Atasha Muhlach and Nicole Kovanen all representing Luzon.
The U18s Girls Sevens program has been running for two years, a positive investment into the ongoing development of womens Rugby in the Philippines according to Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby. “It’s important for Philippine Rugby to continue to develop grassroots and national youth programs, without them, we don’t have a future. These athletes will become our next generation of elite national players who will go onto represent the Philippines in future SEA Games, Asian Games, and hopefully, one day in the Olympics”.
The Philippine Rugby program has been backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and MVP Sports Foundation in addition to other corporate sponsors. The recent success of the Women’s Lady Volcanoes in Brunei just last weekend shows the signs of a positive path for the women’s sevens program.
“Our ladies finished with a Silver Medal last weekend in Brunei, winning 5 from 6 games. The U18s players featured in India this weekend will have their eyes set on making the next step up to the women’s team after this tournament. We want to be able to expose these girls to international standards of play for their development. Truth is, they have what it takes to play in next years SEA Games. They need to show signs of that this weekend” shared Letts.
Nicole Kovanen is the sole player who has already made the next step. Kovanen boasts strength, power and was part of the Lady Volcanoes silver medal winning team. She will be a key figure for the girls this weekend. The U18s will be coached by experienced Lady Volcano Kaye Honoras, with the assistance of Chris Everingham for Strength & Conditioning and Performance.
For live streaming, follow Philippine Rugby on Facebook. Match schedule below:
October 26 Friday:
vs. China @ 22:52 PH time
October 27 Saturday:
vs. Laos @ 16:50 PH time
vs. Qatar @ 18:52 PH time
October 28 Sunday
*finals to be decided
The Philippine national women’s rugby team, the Lady Volcanoes finished with an impressive win/loss record in Brunei over the weekend for the 2018 Asia Trophy Series. The Lady Volcanoes bagged the silver medal winning five games straight, before falling just short in the Gold Medal match.
The 2018 Asia Trophy Series was contested over two days, with 10 teams competing. The Philippines drew Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal in Pool B; in Pool A saw Indonesia, Malaysia, Guam, Brunei and Laos.
The Lady Volcanoes, sponsored by First Pacific and MVP Sports Foundation, started their first game with a strong performance defeating Uzbekistan 12 points to 10. Uzbekistan’s size advantage was outclassed with the Philippines skill and speed. Not long after, the Volcanoes backed this performance up, comfortably defeating Pakistan 38 points to 0 in their second match. In their third match of the day, the Philippines faced Top seeds in Pool B India and held onto win 17 to 10, a stellar performance after Day 1 where the Philippines remained the only unbeaten team on the first day.
Early on day two the Philippines handed Nepal a 43 points to nil victory, securing their position on the top of Pool B with four wins from four matches. The Volcanoes progressed to the Top 4 and faced Guam in the Semi Final, where the Philippines held onto win 10 to 7 to book their place in the Gold Medal match against Malaysia.
The Malaysians suffered an earlier defeat over Guam on day one, however defeated Uzbekistan in Semi Final (2) to also secure their position in the Gold Medal match. The competition all weekend remained as a tightly contested tournament. The Lady Volcanoes were confident with going unbeaten the whole tournament, boasting the only undefeated team as they approached the Gold Medal match.
The Philippines played exciting Rugby 7s all weekend, featuring key performances from several players in the national team according to Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby “It was great to see the team perform. Aiumi Ono was outstanding, Rassiel Sales showed pure speed, Sylvia Tudoc with fantastic Rugby awareness and Nicole Kovanen with brute strength and go forward. The whole team as a group played attacking Rugby, it was great to watch”
The Gold Medal match remained tightly contested ---the Malaysians scoring first, making it 5 points to nil. The Volcanoes returned with a converted try to take the lead 7 to 5. However it was the Malaysians who broke away scoring making it 10 to 7 late in the second half; the Philippines running out of time and finishing with the silver medal.
“It was a fantastic weekend for women’s rugby in Asia to see 10 teams represented in this tournament - the most we’ve ever had competing for the trophy. The level of competition was very competitive especially from Guam, Uzbekistan and Malaysia. We went undefeated the entire tournament until the final match against Malaysia and although we wish the final result was different, I couldn’t be more proud of how the team performed overall. Not only is it the best result the team has ever had in a single tournament, the entire team was composed of Philippine homegrown players. The program is on track for a competitive rematch against Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Games next year,” shared Ada Milby, Head Coach for the Philippine team.
“The Ladies looked strong, well-conditioned and well prepared for the final match, however once bounce of the ball the wrong way in 7s rugby can cost you. Unfortunately for us Malaysia took their opportunities and maximized points when they were on offer, credit to both teams, a great match to watch, very proud of our girls efforts the entire weekend,” shared Chris Everingham, Performance and Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Volcanoes.
Women’s Rugby in the Philippines continues to go from strength to strength; the U18 National Team will travel to India on Wednesday to compete in the U18s Asia Sevens Championships next weekend in Bhubaneswar.
The national women’s rugby team, proudly sponsored by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation are hoping to repeat success for Philippine Rugby as they compete for the 2018 Asia Trophy Series in Brunei this weekend.
The Lady Volcanoes will face India, Pakistan, Nepal and Uzbekistan in Pool B. Other nations in the Trophy Series include Malaysia, Laos, Brunei and Guam.
The women’s program has had an internal boost for 2018, following their second place finish in June for the Asia Rugby Championships (ARC) according to their General Manager Jake Letts.
“Women’s Rugby in the Philippines has made some positive strides in the last 12 months, we recently competed in the ARC in June, a first time since 2012 and our National Youth Team competed in the Youth Olympic Qualifiers late last year, two tournaments that usually were not in our international calendar however thanks to the PRFU, our sponsors and the Philippine Sports Commission, we are able to raise funding and compete in more tournaments each year and develop the program” shared Letts.
The Lady Volcanoes have recently been linked to MVP Sports Foundation, a partnership with the aim to medal at next year’s Southeast Asian Games. “We have working closely with MVPSF and First Pacific since 2014, most evidently in our National Youth Programs. For 2018 however we strategised together to see what other programs would benefit their support, our National Women’s Program is one that offers huge potential considering their success over the last few years” Letts added.
The Philippines will be using the Trophy Series as a preparation tournament for the SEA Games next year. Rassiel Sales and Sylvia Tudoc of the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks both selected after impressive performances in the local domestic competitions. Alongside these two include Dixie Yu and Madille Salinas from Cebu, and experienced leaders Acee San Juan from Eagles RFC and Aiumi Ono of the Makati Chiefs all aiming to put their best foot forward for the country.
A strong base of locally developed players and local domestic competitions presented an opportunity for the Philippines to be well prepared for the upcoming tournament. The Lady Volcanoes have been preparing for months, under the guidance of new Head Coach Ada Milby, Performance Manager and Strength & Conditioning Coach Chris Everingham, and team leader Kaye Honoras.
The competition will be held at Seria, Brunei, at the Panaga Club. The Philippines face Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India on day 1 of the tournament. The finals to be played on day 2.
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