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[PHOTOS] 26 Philippine Volcanoes players chosen for 2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men’s Championships in Taipei, Taiwan

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After nine days of an intensive training camp, Philippine Volcanoes head coach Stu Woodhouse has selected the touring team for the Philippine national rugby union team. They are preparing to compete in the 2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men’s Championships at the Taipei Municipal Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan.

On May 28, 2019, the Philippine Volcanoes departed Philippine shores. The Filipino rugby payers have been seeded against their Sri Lankan opponents in the first of two semi-finals of 2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men’s Championships on May 29, 2019.

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. Ten players will have the opportunity to wear the national colors 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” debutante Tim Alonso Berry shared. He was a key addition to the 7s program and has been an exciting addition to the 15s team.

The Philippine 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.

Nicknamed the Sri Lankan Tuskers, the Sri Lankan team is number 44 on the World Rankings. On the other hand, the Philippine Volcanoes are currently at 53.

Over the past week, the Philippine Volcanoes players have completed their training camp with 30 players who have been put through an extensive amount of physical preparation, mental toughness and game plan management. A successful result can be achieved if the team 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,” Matthews said. “We have certainly put ourselves in the best position to take on Sri Lanka on Wednesday.”

Regardless of the result, the Philippine 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 Philippine Volcanoes are backed by both MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Sports Commission as their headline sponsors. Here is the list of 26 players set to represent the Philippines in the 2019 Division 1 Asia Rugby Men’s Championships:

  1. Simon Gabion-Sheehan
  2. Harvey Deposoy Mercado
  3. Eric Cruz Erickson
  4. James Mactal Krook
  5. Sam Aquino Callaghan
  6. Jeromy Zafra Cairns
  7. Sam Tulipas Bennetts
  8. David Feeney
  9. Ashley Matias Heward
  10. Christopher Arpon Bird (VC)
  11. Edlen Cortez Hernandez
  12. Tom Signe Gunn
  13. Kingsley Sarmiento Ballesteros
  14. Ken Luis Mellorin
  15. Tim Alonso Berry
  16. Jobel Vergara de Castro
  17. Daniel Bembo Matthews (C)
  18. Kohei Deocareza Mitsuhashi
  19. Ellis    Padillo Rudder
  20. Robert Luceno Fogerty
  21. Justin Villazor Coveney
  22. Ned Plarizan Stephenson
  23. Vincent Amar Young
  24. Phillip Sumpio Hinson
  25. Patrice Ortiz Olivier
  26. Timothy Bweheni

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