The First Pacific U19 national rugby team, the Jr. Volcanoes, face a tough ask in their final match of the U19 Asia Rugby Division 1 championships.
The Philippines were out muscled against an experienced and well advanced Korea on Wednesday night in their semifinal battle. The Philippines now turn their attention to finish the year on a high, against Southeast Asian neighbours Singapore.
The young Volcanoes after a gutsy performance will field a similar roster with one noticeable change. Vice Captain Rhys Jacob Mackley will move back to his favored position at scrum half to make room for the return of Gabriel Lingan. Lingan was a late withdrawal two hours before Wednesday’s semifinal match. A known playmaker and general for the Philippines he will be a boost for the home team for their bronze medal play off.
“It was unfortunate for us to lose Gabe so close to kick off for game 1, he is an experienced team member of this squad and will no doubt be a leader for Saturday’s final game. We trained with Gabe all week leading up to Korea so to have him back for the final is a blessing. Gabe brings a wealth of experience into the playmaker’s role, the coaching staff and his team mates are happy to see him return to the starting side” shares assistant coach and current Philippine Volcano, Jake Robrigado Letts.
After both teams’ performances from Wednesday, the Philippines with a home ground advantage are likely to go in favorites. Man of the match Francis Glen Serafica will be looking for a repeat performance with his bone crushing defense and strong attacking runs. Team captain Kai Ledesma Stroem will be expected to once again lead from the front.
The 2016 Transcom Shield, an annual international rugby fixture between the Philippine National Men’s Development Team and the Hong Kong Senior Warriors has been scheduled as a pre-game curtain raiser before the Jr. Volcanoes.
The Philippines will kick off the first match at 12.00pm for the men’s fixture, followed by the Jr Volcanoes at 2.00pm. Both matches will be played at International School Manila, Taguig this Saturday December 17.
Manila, Philippines: The Philippine U19 national rugby team, proudly sponsored by First Pacific, will face off against Korea, Singapore and United Arab Emirates in the 2016 U19 Asia Rugby Championships.
For their first game, the Philippines, seeded third, will face Korea who are seeded second in the competition. The Philippines have yet to taste victory over Korea at the U19s level however the team will look to experienced campaigners Rhys Jacob Mackley, Kai Ledesma Stroem and Robert Benitez McCafferty to lead from the front. All three players have already played for the Men’s National 7s team earlier this year. On a local front, both team captains from the U19 National Development Team Kinglsey Ballesteros and Joshua Aragon from the Clark Jets have been included in the 25 man selection squad.
The Jr. Volcanoes is the team of the future, boasting of talented Filipino players based both locally and abroad. The aim of the program is to blood young rugby players to prepare for the next step of international competition, and one day graduate into the Philippine Volcanoes Men's National Team.
The Junior Volcanoes will have an experienced coaching staff led by Head Coach David Johnston and his Assistant Coach and current Men’s Volcano, Jake Robrigado Letts. Both have been involved with the program since 2014. “The U19s program is a recruitment platform for Philippine Rugby, the players have the chance not only to play international rugby but also impress the coaching staff to warrant their selection in the Men’s National teams in the later years. It's been a breeding ground for development and talent identification” shares Letts an original U19s team member back in 2006.
The Volcanoes have had a successful record in the past winning the tournament in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Last year the Junior Volcanoes were far too strong for the visiting Hong Kong National Development Team, defeating Hong Kong Junior Warriors 49 points to nil in their last outing.
The games will be held at the International School of Manila on December 14 and 17. The Philippines kick off at 5.00pm on Wednesday December 14 against Korea while Singapore takes on UAE at 6.30pm. The winning teams from Wednesday’s games will face each other in the finals at 2.00pm on Saturday, December 17.
Manila, Philippines: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 became the official nomination and approval of the 2017 newly elected Board of Directors for the Philippine Rugby Football Union.
The 2016 Annual General Meeting was held yesterday in Pasig, where each of the twenty two clubs were invited to lobby their nominations and cast their vote.
Congratulations to the newly elected Board Members for 2017
The PRFU would also like to congratulate Anthony Shibley who was awarded a PRFU Life Membership. Tony has played an integral part to the development of Rugby in the Philippines as a player, coach, sponsor and PRFU Board Member.
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