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.
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