The fourth and final sevens tournament was the end of a busy five weeks for the Volcanoes 7s Development Team. The Philippine team fell short in all three pool rounds, 34 to 14, 33 to 14, and 26 to 12 in their final match. The competition capped off a remarkable effort, as newcomers to each and every tournament.
“It’s been a development program for all the right reasons, playing in these tournaments will pay off for our future national programs,” shared Vince Amar Young, Team Leader for the program.
The team blooded a staggering 27 players over four competitions, showing the global reach of Filipinos across the United Kingdom. “We have close to forty players registered in the program, close to 70% of our players were able to showcase their talent for the Philippines, something we didn’t think was possible 12 months ago,” added Young.
The program came to fruition after the global pandemic forced all Philippine Rugby competitions domestically and internationally to a halt.
“Before these competitions, the last Philippine Rugby game registered was in March of 2020. So it was 16 months since any official competition for our program was able to proceed. We needed to kick start rugby where it is allowed and where we could. Overall, the entire program has been a positive addition to our rugby calendar and the program,” added Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby.
As the sevens program closes in the United Kingdom, it opens up new opportunities in other countries of the world. “We will now look to focus on New Zealand, Australia, and hopefully the US and Canada for Q4 of 2021. I am fairly confident we will be able to enter and play in some more competitions in those areas of the globe. For our local players, we have our fingers crossed for Asia Rugby tournaments to proceed so our local national athletes also get the opportunity to play this year,” added Letts.
Domestic rugby competitions and community sport in the Philippines still remain on hold as all non-professional sports continue to be prohibited.
“We will continue to see the best avenues possible for our local rugby communities, a number of strategies exist however timing and structure will be the key. Some clubs are back to training where they are allowed which is good to see,” added Letts.
Philippine Rugby has scheduled a Talent Identification and Recruitment (TIR) day for August 29 in Auckland, New Zealand under former Head Coach Frano Botica. The recent announcement of the lockdown in Auckland may, unfortunately, postpone the event with a decision to make later next week.
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