For the Philippine Rugby Football Union, 2018 has been one of the most successful seasons. The Filipino national rugby union team nicknamed the Volcanoes has achieved success across all levels.
Before 2018 ends, the current international season for Philippine Rugby continues. Both the women’s national development team called the Lady Volcanoes and the U19 Junior Volcanoes take the field to once more before 2019.
In April 2018, the Men’s Residents XV team defeated Guam in a one off international exhibition match. The Men’s 15s team were crowned Champions over Singapore in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Championships and the youth program, the U19 National Development Team, defeated the Hong Kong Junior Warriors in the First Pacific Cup.
The Men’s National Sevens Team finished with a Bronze Medal in the 2018 Asia Sevens Series. This made the team the third highest ranked team in Asia.
Like the men’s programs, the women’s program was also successful. Capping off a remarkable international season for the Lady Volcanoes were a silver medal finish in the Division 1 Asia Rugby Women’s Championships in June 2018 and an additional Silver Medal finish in the 2018 Asia Trophy Series in October 2018.
“It’s been a positive year for our international programs,” the Philippine Rugby general manager Jake Letts stated. “We hope to add two more successful campaigns to finish off 2018.”
On December 8, 2018, the Lady Volcanoes development program will take on the Singapore Bedoks at Faith Academy. Both teams traditionally set for a close encounter.
“Last year, the Bedoks got away with a close win,” Letts said. “Hopefully, this year our ladies can get one back. We are currently playing in top form, so hopefully we can finish on another high.”
The U19 Junior Volcanoes are also in preparation for an international competition. Also backed by First Pacific and the MVP Sports Foundation, the youth program is preparing for the 2018 Asia Rugby Division 1 U19s Championships, which will take place at the Bang Bon Stadium in Bang Bok, Bangkok, Thailand from December 11-14, 2018.
On December 11, 2018, the Volcanoes will face host Thailand to secure a place in the final against either China or Singapore on December 14, 2018. Letts sees this as an opportunity to scout future talent.
“The U19s program is very important to what our future holds,” Letts said. “These players will be the basis of our National Teams in the future. It’s a great opportunity for our athletes to impress our current national coaches at an international level.”
Rassiel Sales remains as one of the key players of the Lady Volcanoes while Craig Bayer Wallace is returning in a key role for the U19 Junior Volcanoes. Stu Woodhouse and David Johnston will coach the U19s.
For these programs, the Philippine Rugby has First Pacific and MVP Sports Foundation as headline investors who will help support and pave the future for Rugby development in the Philippines. Meanwhile, watch a game between the Philippine and Singaporean rugby teams here: