Manila, Philippines: The Philippine U19 national rugby team, proudly sponsored by First Pacific, will face off against Korea, Singapore and United Arab Emirates in the 2016 U19 Asia Rugby Championships.
For their first game, the Philippines, seeded third, will face Korea who are seeded second in the competition. The Philippines have yet to taste victory over Korea at the U19s level however the team will look to experienced campaigners Rhys Jacob Mackley, Kai Ledesma Stroem and Robert Benitez McCafferty to lead from the front. All three players have already played for the Men’s National 7s team earlier this year. On a local front, both team captains from the U19 National Development Team Kinglsey Ballesteros and Joshua Aragon from the Clark Jets have been included in the 25 man selection squad.
The Jr. Volcanoes is the team of the future, boasting of talented Filipino players based both locally and abroad. The aim of the program is to blood young rugby players to prepare for the next step of international competition, and one day graduate into the Philippine Volcanoes Men's National Team.
The Junior Volcanoes will have an experienced coaching staff led by Head Coach David Johnston and his Assistant Coach and current Men’s Volcano, Jake Robrigado Letts. Both have been involved with the program since 2014. “The U19s program is a recruitment platform for Philippine Rugby, the players have the chance not only to play international rugby but also impress the coaching staff to warrant their selection in the Men’s National teams in the later years. It's been a breeding ground for development and talent identification” shares Letts an original U19s team member back in 2006.
The Volcanoes have had a successful record in the past winning the tournament in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Last year the Junior Volcanoes were far too strong for the visiting Hong Kong National Development Team, defeating Hong Kong Junior Warriors 49 points to nil in their last outing.
The games will be held at the International School of Manila on December 14 and 17. The Philippines kick off at 5.00pm on Wednesday December 14 against Korea while Singapore takes on UAE at 6.30pm. The winning teams from Wednesday’s games will face each other in the finals at 2.00pm on Saturday, December 17.
Stay connected with us!