Laguna, Philippines: The Singapore national rugby team have flown into the Volcanoes home territory to challenge the Philippines in the 2017 Transcom Rugby Championship.
The Philippine Residents XV is a team comprised of Philippine Volcanoes, expatriates and local Philippine National Development players. The Residents XV is a new program formed under the support of Transcom, Seapac Philippines and the Philippine Rugby Football Union, the national governing body of the Philippine Volcanoes.
"Were excited to take part for the second year in a row in the Transcom Rugby Championship. In last years championship we played a well drilled and physical Sabah Rugby outfit. A game we held on to win 25 to 19. It gives an opportunity to showcase the highest level of rugby here in the Philippines" shared Jake Robrigado Letts, National Teams Head.
The Residents XV have a bigger mountain to climb this year, the Singapore national team are ranked 60th in the world. 2015 was the last visit the Singaporeans had in the Philippines, the Volcanoes won the match 20 to 17 at INC's Philippine Sports Stadium.
Matt Cullen, Managing Director of the PRFU stated how how it all came together "Singapore contacted Philippine Rugby earlier in the year for an international friendly, we took the offer straight away, no hesitation at all. Our Residents XV Team being a collection of all the best rugby players residing here in the Philippines I knew it would be a great fixture. I was very impressed with the team last year, this match is going to be a good hit out for both teams. I'm predicting a good old fashioned match on Saturday afternoon at 3.00pm"
The Singaporeans and Philippines will be testing out their top flight of players in preparation for the Asia Rugby Championships next month.The Philippines will be coached by David Johnston and injured Volcano Jake Letts. The coaches have selected experienced team members Joe Palabay Dawson, Gareth Dela Rosa Holgate, Justin Villazor Coveney and Benjamin Prigola Mudie. Jovan Reyes Masalunga also returns to the starting line up after a long term injury suffered in last years victory over Sabah.
"The chemistry in the team is impressive, you have the best Filipino players in the country teaming up with the best players from the Manila Nomads, Eagles RFC, Clark Jets, Cebu Dragons, Makati Chiefs and the SKF Mavericks. It's a great program, excited to see how they match up" Letts added.
The SPI 15s is the local domestic rugby competition and will act as the pre curtain raiser. The first match will be Makati Chiefs against the Manila Carabaos at 10.00am, followed by two more local matches. The main game is at 3.00pm between the Philippines and Singapore.
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