Philippine Volcanoes all set for Singapore Sevens
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Volcanoes, the country’s National Rugby team, is ready to make more noise for the sport and banner Filipino pride once again.
Fresh from back-to-back Plate Division Championship wins in Thailand and India, the Philippine Volcanoes will travel to the Singapore 7s on Friday, November 8 to compete in the 4th and final leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series.
The Volcanoes have missed out on a Cup Division spot in the past 3 tournaments, and currently rank 5th in a field of 12 teams from all over Asia that make up the core participants of the series. They are hoping a refreshed and fortified team will result in a better finish.
The Philippines are in Pool C of the tournament and will see action on day one against Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Wins in both these games will set up a Cup Quarter Final showdown with either Singapore or China.
Volcanoes coach Matt Cullen has been impressed with this week’s preparations at the PRFU High Performance Facility in Canlubang, Laguna. He believes that the Volcanoes can equal their feats from the same tournament in 2012, where they edged Korea for a bronze medal and a ticket to the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
“This is the strongest squad we have assembled for 2013 since competing in the Rugby World Cup Sevens,” he said in a statement. “The players are very determined to prove that they are one of the top teams in Asia.”
Co-Captian Oliver Saunders also said that the team has been working hard to prepare for the tournament. “The boys have all worked very hard at training camp and everyone knows the importance of a top 3 finish for us in Singapore.”
He added that apart from hard work, a positive mindset also resonates within the team.
“There is a good feeling amongst the team and we all know what needs to be done to achieve our goal. As always, we are looking forward to representing the Philippines in the big challenge ahead.”
This 2013 Asian Sevens series will also serve as the ranking series for the 2014 Asian Games, which will be held in Korea next September. A top three performance this weekend will definitely set the foundations for the Volcanoes to enter the Asian Games with the confidence to claim a medal.
The Singapore Sevens will be played on November 9-10 at the Yio Chu Kang Sports Complex, Ang Mo Kio, Singapore. The games will be streamed live on www.youtube.com/asian5nationstv. PRFU will be posting updates on www.facebook.com/PhilippineRugby and www.twitter.com/PhilippineRugby. – Rappler.com