2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men's Championship Team
After a 9 day intensive training camp, Head Coach Stu Woodhouse has selected the touring team for the Philippine Volcanoes as they prepare to compete in the 2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men’s Championships in Taipei on May 29 and June 1.
The Volcanoes depart Philippine shores today and have been seeded against Sri Lanka in the first of two Semi Finals on Wednesday at the Taipei Muncipal Stadium. The coaching staff have had the tough task of selecting the Top 26 to travel, with a mix of experience, youth and new additions selected to make their debut. A total of 10 players will have the opportunity to wear the national colours for the first time in this program.
“It’s a huge privilege to be selected for the group to go to Taipei and an experience I’m really excited for” shared debutant Tim Alonso Berry. Berry was a key addition to the 7s program and has been an exciting addition to the 15s team.
The Volcanoes will be expecting a physical match up first against an experienced Sri Lankan team. The seedings will be a testament to see how far the Volcanoes can rise in 2019. Sri Lanka are 44 on the World Rankings with the Philippines currently at 53, nine places behind the Tuskers.
“It's been a tough training camp, we have really dug deep and put in the hours on and off the field. It will be a tough game and Sri Lanka are so competitive so we know what we have to do to come away with a good result” shared Team Captain Daniel Bembo Matthews.
Over the past week the Volcanoes have completed their training camp, 30 players have been put through an extensive amount of physical preparation, mental toughness and game plan management. A successful result can be achieved if the Volcanoes can be clinical and accurate in their on field skills and game management.
“The commitment the team, coaches and support staff has shown to one another has made the camp a successful one and our team has been accurate and have trained at a high intensity. We have certainly put ourselves in the best position to take on Sri Lanka on Wednesday” added Matthews
Regardless of the result, the Volcanoes will face a quick turnaround after their match against Sri Lanka, with the winner playing the winner of the second semi final between Chinese Taipei and Singapore to determine the championship team. The losing teams will face off in a 3rd place playoff. The Volcanoes are backed by both MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Sports Commission as their headline sponsors.
The selected 26 players to represent the Philippines include: