The Philippine National Rugby Team, often called the Volcanoes, has been representing the country in international rugby tournaments for years. Since 2006, they’ve competed in the Asia Rugby Championships, where in 2012, they even won the Division I title.
Additionally, the Volcanoes bagged the gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games for the men’s tournament, as well as the silver for the women’s.
Now, the Volcanoes are set to represent the Philippines once again at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series starting on October 22.
Lucky number 7
The Asia Rugby Sevens Series is an annual rugby tournament contested by teams around Asia. However, unlike standard 15-a-side rugby, sevens are contested by teams of (you guessed it) seven. In addition, every match is made up of two seven-minute halves as opposed to the standard 40 minutes.
In this year’s continental tournament, the top eight teams in Asia will be vying for the championship. Apart from the Philippines, this includes Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea, among other competitive teams.
This year’s Asia Rugby Sevens Series will take place over three rounds:
- Thailand Sevens: October 22 & 23
- South Korea Sevens: November 12 & 13
- UAE Sevens: November 25 & 26
All three rounds include both men’s and women’s tournaments. The Philippines is among the five teams that will send representatives for both competitions.
The World Rugby Rankings currently place the Men’s Philippine National Rugby Team 43rd in the world. And in the first round of the series, they will be facing world no. 22 Hong Kong, no. 60 the UAE, and no. 81 China, in the same pool.
The Volcanoes men’s team is now being led by Darryl Suasua, an experienced coach from New Zealand. He previously coached the New Zealand Women’s 7s team.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be involved with the Volcanoes and feel honored to be in this coaching role,” he expressed, as this is his first year with the Philippine team.
On the other hand, the Women’s Philippine National Rugby Team ranks 55th in the world. In Thailand, they are slated to compete against world no. 13 Japan, no. 15 Kazakhstan, and no. 48 Thailand.
The women’s team is led by their coaching staff, Fetala’a Taua’a and Andy Brown. Taua’a and Brown have been working together to build the local team over the last few years. In 2019, they even led the Volcanoes to a silver-medal finish in the Southeast Asian Games.
“Locally we have been training for a few months now and it’s been going well, we look forward to having the extended squad brought together to bring our training up another level,” Taua’a shared.
Now, with only a few weeks left to go until the first round of Sevens starts, both teams will be gearing up to face the fierce competition. And, as Rugby is known to be one of the most thrilling sports to watch, the Asia Rugby Sevens Series are making it easy to support our teams.