The Philippine Volcanoes 7s team will test its mettle against regional rivals when they compete in the South East Asian (SEA) 7s on Friday at the Singapore National Stadium in Singapore.
Fresh from its gold medal finish in the Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy in Qatar last month, the Philippines is hoping to ride on its winning momentum into the tournament.
The Volcanoes are in Pool A along with Singapore 1, Brunei, Indonesia while Pool B includes Malaysia Thailand, Laos and Singapore 2.
“Our chances are really strong and we are happy with the team we are sending,” said Philippine Rugby national captain Jake Letts during the partnership signing with fastfood company Jollibee at the Jollibee Plaza on Monday in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
The Philippine Rugby Football Union developmental 7s team is composed of veteran and new players that include Justin Coveney, Edlen Hernandez, Timothy Bweheni, Joe Dawson, Alex Aronson, Gareth Holgate, Jonel Madrona, Jovan Masalunga, Manuel Olondriz, Chris Everingham, Christian Vitug and Joshua Aragon.
Letts said they are hoping to knockout Singapore in their pool so they can face either Malaysia or Thailand in the finals on Saturday.
“We just played against Thailand last month, and luckily, we played really well and beat them 41-5 in the finals. But again this is going to be a different team and anything can happen,” added Letts.
The team will have their last captain’s round game on Wednesday before flying to Singapore on Thursday.
The SEA 7s, organized by the Singaporean Rugby Union, aims to create awareness about the sport and develop more rugby players in the region.
After this week’s competition, the team will vie for the Asian Rugby Championships in Malaysia set in May, in preparation for the 29th Southeast Asian Games in August.
“We want to bring pride to the Filipinos that is why we are very excited to support them along the way,” said Francis Flores, Jollibee Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer.
Also present in the contract signing were PRFU Board Trustee William Bailey, PRFU Managing Director Matthew Cullen, Developmental Manager Jovan Masalunga, player Harry Morris and Jollibee Brand Communications Director Arline Adeva.