Team Captains set for the 2019 JML Premiership Shield. Pictured here with Headline Sponsor and Managing Director of JML Philippines, Steve Payne
Philippine Rugby will launch the 2019 domestic 15s season this Saturday, at Southern Plains, Calamba.
The JML Premiership Shield will feature eight teams across Luzon coming together for over 14 rounds. Teams are ranked in one division, across two pools based on last years standings.
The Eagles RFC are top seeds and will face the HMR Ibons, Clark Jets and the Manila Carabaos in Pool A. The Manila Nomads will be ranked top of Pool B to face the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks, the Albay Bulkans and the Makati Chiefs.
Local teams will be boosted by national player contingents. Some exciting talent to feature each week, with the likes of Joe Palabay Dawson, Jonel Madrona, Lito Ramirez, Jeremy Hernandez, Nick Jones, Edlen Hernandez, Ian Pausanos, Reymarc Bustillo, Steven Near, David Feeney, Timothy Bweheni, Jovic Paypon and Ric Bellen all key members for their local clubs.
“This year will be a first for the PRFU, all eight Luzon based teams in one division. It’s going to be exciting to see each week. Teams will be seeded and ranked accordingly by the end of the regular season and it will break off to a Top 4 and bottom 4 for the playoffs. Only one team will be crowned Premiership champions” shared Jovan Masalunga of Philippine Rugby.
The 15s domestic season has a strong history for over 15 years, with Rugby predominately starting from the Nomads Rugby Club. Come 2019, the club will feature three teams, two male, one female, a first in its history.
“Nomads Rugby Club has been around for decades, this week they not only continue their legacy but also add to it with the launch of their first ever 15s women’s team. It will be a special occasion for such an iconic club team in the Philippines” shared Jake Letts, General Manager for the PRFU.
The women’s 15s division will see four teams vying for the title. The Eagles RFC, the Makati Chiefs, the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks and the Manila Rogues. All teams face off in a round robin format before the final playoffs. The women's competition equally exciting with the likes of Aiumi Ono, Rassiel Sales, Sylvia Tudoc and Hilla Indigne all taking the field for their respective clubs. An U19s Colts Division will continue for the regular season, as both the Eagles RFC and the SKF Mavericks continue their programs with established player pathways for their Junior Programs. Another positive development for Philippine Rugby.
As the first week kicks off this Saturday, the opening game will feature the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks taking on the Manila Rogues in the women’s division. For the men's division, top seeds Eagles RFC will face the Manila Carabaos followed by the match of the day where the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks take on the Manila Nomads. Games kick off from 12:00 pm, followed by 1:45 pm start for the second match and the final game at 3:30 pm.
Youth Rugby kicks off to start the morning, where Junior Touch Rugby teams will open the day from 9:00 am until 11:30 am. Entry is free. The return of Saturday is Rugby Day is back in the Philippines!
8 Men's Team Captains pictured with Headline Sponsor Steve Payne of JML Philippines
4 Women's Team Captains pictured with Headline Sponsor Steve Payne of JML Philippines
Round 1 Match Up - The Santos Knight Frank Mavericks will be up against the newly formed Manila Rogues. Represented by Team Captains Sylvia Tudoc and Bianca Natola.
Eagles RFC will launch their defence title against the Manila Carabaos. Pictured Ph Volcano Joe Palabay Dawson and Liam Shaw.
The Manila Nomads take on the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks. Pictured as Team Captains Nick Jones and Lito Ramirez.
The International School Manila (ISM) Bearcats mauled their way to three division titles in last weeks PSL finals. It was all green, gold and white as the Bearcats took out the Varsity final, Junior Varsity and U15s divisions respectively.
For the Varsity match, ISM ran away 27 points to 5 over British School Manila. ISM Captain Sam Hobbins showcasing speed, skills and great footwork to lead his team to the 2018/2019 Championship. A extra special victory for the Bearcats after electing to rest key players before their departure to this weekends IASIS Championships.
The rugby program at ISM continues to show positive signs of junior development. Both their U15s and their Junior Varsity teams went on to to secure two grand final victories in addition to the Varsity championship.
In the U15s, the British School Manila Rugby program is led by coach and former Philippine Volcano Benjamin Mudie. Mudie, has the assistance of current U19 Volcano Jason Shirmer and have both been passing on their knowledge allowing the BSM rugby program to show signs of a steady improvement. The Lions went close to causing an upset in the grand final after a strong first half performance finding themselves in the lead only until the very last play. In a valiant effort from both teams, it was the Bearcats however who fought through with a try after the whistle taking out a close victory 24 to 19.
In the Junior Varsity grand final, another closely fought out match saw the Bearcats pull off a last gasp effort to take out the match 27 to 24 over Faith Academy. The match living up to the spirit of grand finals going down to the final whistle and once again in the last play of the game.
For the Youth League it was the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks who ran away with the U11s Championships while the Station International Bulacan Bombers causing the upset of the day winning 41 to 17 against ISM in the U13s final.
In the Girls competition, Miriam College's experience showed as they defeated the newly establish British School Manila girls team and the Subic Sharks. The British School Manila Girls program also reaping the benefits of development as they entered their first team for the Schools Competition.
“Overall another a great season for the competition, the more kids enjoying the game the better the development for Philippine Rugby. It was great to see BSM and Faith Academy pushing ISM to their limits, those matches could have gone either way. To also have three girls teams participating is very good to see. Congratulations to all teams, we look forward to the years end where it all kicks off again in November” shared Jovan Masalunga, Competitions Manager for Philippine Rugby.
Philippine Rugby moves directly to the launch of their 15s domestic season, where it will host 3 divisions, a colts division (U19s), a women’s division and an open men’s division. Competition kicks off February 9, at Southern Plains Sports Field and will feature local Luzon based Rugby clubs vying for the 2019 Philippine Premiership Shield.
For more information on Rugby in the Philippines, contact the PRFU via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Varsity Champions - The ISM Bearcats
Former Ph Volcano Benjamin Mudie breaths new air to the BSM rugby program
ISM U15s with the Trophy
ISM Gold taking out the Junior Varsity Division
Station International Bulacan Bombers with the U13s Trophy
U18 Junior Volcano Satchi Gonzalez finding space for the BSM Girls
The U11 Champions - the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks