Pasig City, Philippines - Philippine Rugby's domestic competitions are finally back this year with the first round of the 2023 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup kicking off on Saturday, 29 April 2023, at the Ultra - Philsports Complex in Pasig City. It will be the first time in over a decade that rugby domestic competitions will be played at the prestigious facility of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). The tournament, which has 3 divisions, will see 9 team entries from Luzon-based clubs. Here are the teams competing this season:
First match of the day will kick off at 9:00 am with the 2023 Manila 10s Cup Champions, the SKF Makati Mavericks, playing against the match day club hosts, the Manila Nomads Rugby Club, for the Premiership Division. The Nomads will be led by recently appointed Club President and veteran Philippine Volcano, David Feeney. However, the Mavericks have the momentum and confidence coming off from their 2023 Manila 10s win last month. Team co-captains, Maui Reoperez and Dylan Davies, will also lead the Mavs' youthful side. The Eagles RFC will be on bye round for the Premiership Division this weekend.
The Women's Division will kick off at 11:00 am with 2022 PRFU Luzon Rugby Cup defending champions and recently crowned 2023 Manila 10s champions, the Eagles RFC, against the determined Nomads Rogues side of the Manila Nomads Rugby Club. Bannered by 15s standouts Bella Nepomuceno and Luisa Jordan, the Eagles are looking to start strong this season. Expert fierce challenge from the Nomads Rogues, led by standouts Wyx Carolina and Asia Pacia. SKF Makati Mavericks will be on bye round for the Women's Division this weekend.
The last match of the day is the Championship Division match between the Manila Kalabaws of the Manila Nomads Rugby Club, against the La Liga Rugby at 1:00 pm. With both teams fielding a young development side, it will be exciting to see these players show their potential. With the recent international rugby tour under their belts as part of the Rising Stars program, Kalabaws' Dence Serrano and La Liga's Lani Cadiz, are expected to help their respective teams take the win. The SKF Makati Mavericks will be on bye round for the Championship Division this weekend.
"It is great to see the return of the PRFU domestic competitions this weekend. We are grateful to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for their continued support to Philippine Rugby, and allowing us to return to Ultra - Philsports Complex. We are also excited to have the Manila Nomads Rugby Club as our first host club partner for this round as this shows great solidarity amongst the rugby community.", says Acee San Juan - General Manager of PRFU.
Families, friends, and supporters are invited to watch the games live at the Ultra - Philsports Complex in Pasig City for #SaturdayIsRugbyDay! Matches will be recorded and uploaded on PRFU's YouTube channel the following week.
**Metro Manila (including Pasig City) is on Covid-19 Alert Level 1 until 30 April 2023. Event attendees are required to wear masks and advised to bring proof of vaccination to show at the venue.**
The Philippine Rising Stars, a development pathway program under PRFU's National Teams, will see action for the first time this weekend in Singapore at the South East Asian Rugby 7s tournament (7 to 8 April 2023). The Rising Stars men's and women's teams are composed of local-based players selected from the High Performance Program 7s (HPP 7s) of the PRFU. It aims to develop these local players, and provide more opportunities for them to hone their skills through international exposure to high level matches across Southeast Asia.
Leading the men's team is homegrown player and SKF Makati Mavericks captain, Lito Ramirez. Fresh from his Manila 10s Cup Championship, Ramirez will provide leadership and experience to this young team eager to represent the country for the first time. He will be joined by Clark Jets standout Jonel Madrona, La Liga speedster Lani Cadiz, and Manila Nomads youngster Dence Serrano, among others.
Meanwhile, the women's team will be co-skippered by Sylvia Tudoc, who finally returns for international duties after hiatus, and the veteran Rara Sales. They will be joined by young speedsters Annaliza Galvizo (Eagles RFC), Anna-Lyn Gutierrez (Clark Jets), and Shiela Patino (SKF Makati Mavericks), among others.
National Team coaches Andy Brown and Bella Nepomuceno have prepared the teams for 8 weeks leading up to the tournament. A huge focus on the youth and the future, plus strong performances in domestic rugby have guided these coaches in the final selection of players.
"I am extremely proud of these outstanding young men and women who made this tour happen. With hardwork, dedication, commitment, and a whole lot of support from the Philippine Rugby community, the dream of representing the country and showcasing their skills in the international stage will happen. Hats off to all the people who contributed to the cause, especially to those who worked tirelessly in the background - Salamat po!', shares Acee San Juan - General Manager of Philippine Rugby.
The Rising Stars Men's team is grouped into Pool B alongside Malaysia and Chinese Taipei, while the Women’s team will play round robin matches against Thailand, Singapore, and Laos. Pool games, round robin matches, and semi finals will be played at the Jurong West Stadium on Friday, 7 April 2023. Finals will be played at the National Stadium on Saturday, 8 April 2023, during the World Rugby HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s.
The Philippine Rugby would like to thank Open Access for their support to the Rising Stars program along with the Philippine Rugby community locally and internationally who supported the program.
Stay connected with us!