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
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