The U19 Philippine National Rugby Team, proudly sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and First Pacific, will compete in a two-match international development series against perennial Asian rugby powerhouses Hong Kong. The overall aim for both nations is to develop and foster more homegrown talent.
The 2018 First Pacific Cup will kick off tomorrow at Southern Plains, Calamba. Local players from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao will team up to form a national development team to take on the Hong Kong Junior Warriors.
“The competition has been running since 2015, it’s a great way to ensure our junior homegrown talent is exposed to international Rugby. Hong Kong has always been a team we look to gain experience from, as they are one of the top nations for Rugby in Asia. Hong Kong Rugby run a similar program to our development team, so it’s a positive relationship our unions have” shared Jake Letts, General Manager for Philippine Rugby
The National Development Team will be coached by one of the first original Volcanoes to wear the national jersey, Carlito Abono. Abono was part of the first national team back in 2004. Abono has a wealth of local development experience and is looking forward to another tough challenge against the Warriors.
“Each year this is a highlight for the local program, we train hard and we are always proud to represent the country, thanks to our sponsors for supporting local rugby” shared the Head Coach.
The Philippines will be looking to Lyndon Adlao, Lloyd Bendoy, members from Eagles RFC and Johnly Baloloy of the Albay Bulkans to lead the team. All have selected in the back row for the Philippines. Reymarc Faller Bustillos from the Makati Chiefs also expected to have an impact after a successful series in the PRFU SPI 15s season.
The international development series will also develop local aspiring national coaches and match officials, another important aim for each union.
“This year will have our local up and coming referees facilitate the match; they will be in charge to gain valuable experience. Traditionally we have always used our top referee in the country; however it’s an opportunity to develop our local referees more. We have selected Madille Salinas to referee this match; it’s going to be a valuable opportunity for her to gain this experience. She will referee the first match, with Hong Kong sending a referee for Monday’s fixture” shared Jovan Masalunga, Competitions and Education Manager for Philippine Rugby.
The matches are scheduled for both Friday, 24th August and Monday, 27th August at 2.00pm at Southern Plains, Calamba. Entry is free!
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