The Globe Philippine Volcanoes are all set to return to the international Rugby stage as they are preparing for the first of three legs for the 2019 Asia Rugby Men’s Sevens Series this weekend in Incheon, Korea.
The Volcanoes have recruited new talent into the program, as a sign of depth for an extremely busy international calendar for the rest of 2019. The Philippines will be competing in a total of five international events over the next four months, providing opportunities for new talent to shine.
Coach David Johnston has selected two new debutants for the opening leg, Luc Villalba Smith and Nick Gaffud Robertson. Both players have been selected after performing strongly at training camp and playing a high level of Rugby in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.A welcomed boost of experience for the national team. Joining these two will be ten other members who have all represented the Volcanoes. The team will be captained by Robert Luceno Fogerty alongside key players Tommy Kalaw Gilbert, Timothy Bweheni, and Tim Alonso Berry.
Team Philippines have been seeded in a strong pool alongside host nation South Korea, rugby powerhouse Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei.
“For the first round it’s all about getting the wheels turning, being the first of five tournaments it’s important we experiment early and also perform at the highest level. Coach David Johnston has selected a strong team to do well, and I know the players are ready to go after seeing them prepare earlier in the week” shared Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
The Volcanoes have risen through the ranks, currently sitting third on the Asia Rugby standings means they will be targeted by all teams for the entire series. The team has been receiving sufficient support from the Philippine Sports Commission and telecom giant, Globe Telecom.
“Since we are in the Top 3, a lot of the teams will be heavily prepared for the Philippines, we earned the respect that we can be beat anyone on their day. As like all teams, it’s about being consistent and playing a high level of rugby across the two day competition” added Coach David Johnston.
The Volcanoes will be touring to China and Sri Lanka in September, followed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifications in November and finally the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in December held at the Clark Parade Grounds.
Below are the final 12 members selected to represent the Philippine Volcanoes in the 2019 Asia Sevens Series Round 1, Korea.
1. Timothy BWEHENI 2. Edlen Cortez HERNANDEZ 3. Evan Santillian SPARGO 4. Tim Alonso BERRY 5. Emmanuel RODRIGUEZ 6. Tommy Kalaw GILBERT 7. Nick Gaffuf ROBERTSON 8. Harry Dionson MORRIS 9. Robert Luceno FOGERTY (C) 10. Luc Villalba SMITH 11. Jobel DE CASTRO 12. Jerome Padillo RUDDER
Coaching and Management Staff
David Johnston Chris Everingham Manuel Olondriz Jedd Michell Karen Del Rosario