Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Rugby Football Union Inc. (PRFU) is thrilled to unveil the elite squad that will proudly represent the Philippines at the 19th Asian Games Rugby 7s, scheduled to be held from September 24 to 26, 2023, in Hangzhou, China.
After rigorous evaluation and intensive training, the PRFU is proud to announce the final twelve players who will carry the Philippine flag into the prestigious tournament. These remarkable athletes were selected from a talented training camp squad of 18 players, a testament to their dedication and skills.
The selected players for the Philippine Volcanoes National Team are (jersey number indicated):
1. Tommy Kalaw Gilbert (cc)
2. Kai Ledesma Stroem (cc)
3. Donald Canon Coleman
4. Joe Palabay Dawson
5. Luc Villalba Smith
7. Jerome Loomes Rudder
8. Vincent Amar Young
9. Raphael Concepcion Barberis
10. Robert Luceno Fogerty
11. Nicholas Gaffud Robertson
12. Justin Villazor Coveney
14. Rafael Julian Phillips
Coach: Darryl Suasua
Assistant Coach: Davida Suasua
Physiotherapist: Reece Jones
Team Manager: Lalaine Bacus
This impressive squad boasts a mix of seasoned veterans and promising new talent. Notably, the team will be co-captained by two distinguished players, Tommy Gilbert and Kai Stroem, both of whom bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the field.
The team also includes veterans, Vincent Young and Justin Coveney, who were part of the 2014 Asian Games team that achieved a commendable 5th-place finish. Additionally, seven players from the gold medal-winning team at the 2019 SEA Games are returning to bring challenge at the Asian Games.
A noteworthy aspect of the team is its blend of experience and youth, with Raphael Barberis and Rafael Phillips being the youngest members. Their inclusion underscores the PRFU's commitment to nurturing future rugby stars.
In addition, 8 players from the 2022 Asia Rugby Sevens team which finished in 3rd place in Incheon, South Korea, will be back in action, determined to surpass their monumental feat in last year's international 7s season.
Team Philippines is grouped in Pool A with SEA rival, Malaysia, and strong contenders, Hong Kong China. First match will be against Malaysia and will kick off at 10:00 am on 24 September 2023, followed by the match against Hong Kong China at 6:30 pm (+8 GMT). Match times on the 25 and 26 September 2023 are TBC. Match venue is at Hangzhou Normal University Cangqian Athletics Field. Livestream link to be confirmed.
The PRFU would like to express its profound gratitude to the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee for their unwavering support of Philippine Rugby. This support has been instrumental in the development and success of our national teams.
We would also like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our valued partners, including KMC Solutions, Fitness First, Pitch'd, and Pillar Sports, for their generous contributions to the growth of rugby in the Philippines. Special thanks go to Socks Lang, Gerry's Grill, and GigaWatt Power for their invaluable support.
The jersey presentation for the final 12 players took place on September 20, 2023, at Gerry's Grill in Eton Centris, Quezon City. The event was graced by PRFU President Ada Milby and VP Treasurer Gaz Holgate, as well as the families and friends of the players who presented the jerseys to the proud athletes.
The Philippine Volcanoes National Team is ready to embrace the challenge and proudly represent our nation at the 19th Asian Games Rugby 7s. We invite all Filipinos to rally behind our team as they aim for excellence on the international stage.
For further information, updates, and to show your support for the Philippine Volcanoes National Team, please visit the PRFU website at philippines.rugby and follow us on @philippinerugby.
The Philippine Rugby Football Union Inc. (PRFU) is the governing body for the sport of rugby in the Philippines. Committed to the development and promotion of rugby at all levels, PRFU aims to inspire a nation through rugby and foster a strong sense of sportsmanship, teamwork, and camaraderie among its players and supporters.
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact PRFU General Manager Acee San Juan at email@example.com.
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