The Philippine Lady Volcanoes are all set to face India and Singapore in the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship (ARWC) Division 1 on June 5 and 8, respectively.
After a six-year hiatus, the Lady Volcanoes are set to return to the Fifteens format of the game. The National team will be compromised of the best players from local clubs all over the Philippines, with the coaches also selecting two Filipinos from overseas. Upon reflection, the Lady Volcanoes are set to be a force in this years Asian Championships.
Aiumi Ono of Cebu Dragons Rugby Club is making a come-back in the international scene after incurring an injury and has been named Captain of the team.
“It was a tough road for me to be back on the team after an ACL injury. I’m really excited and privileged to lead this team for ARWC. We have been preparing for this tournament for a long time and had intensive training the past 4 months. Seeing the improvement of the team really excites me even more,” Ono shared.
She added, “75-percent of the team is new and their first ever International 15s game. We have girls from different regions in the Philippines and girls that came from our Under 17s division. This just proves that the development of women’s rugby in the Philippines has been phenomenal and this is a start of a new and better women’s representation”
The teams boost of new rookies include Agot Danton of the Davao Durians and the U17s graduates Nicole Kovanen and Kaia Briela Baui of Eagles RFC.
Agot Danton, a homegrown talent, is a product of the PRFU’s Get Into Rugby Program at the SOS Children’s Village in Davao City. Danton also played soccer in the Street Child World Cup in 2014 for the Philippine under 18s team.
Singapore, the host of this year’s ARWC, kicked-off the tournament defeating India with a score of 30 to 5 last Saturday. It was also a historic day for India Rugby as India’s women played with heart in their first-ever women’s international.
“The series will be a positive step forward for the women’s program in Asia, both Singapore and India will be a challenge for us. However, our Women’s team has prepared very well. I’m looking forward to our Lady Volcanoes stringing together two strong performances for the Philippines” said Philippine Rugby General Manager Jake Letts.
Letts also shared his vision moving forward for this program, “it’s so important for Philippine Rugby to continue to develop the 15s format, it’s a stepping stone for our SEA Games inclusion and preparation. It’s all about Philippine Rugby development, the more international exposure, the better our players have to achieve success”
Singapore will be the crowd favorite, holding the highest rank among the teams aside from also having home crowd support. But anything can happen on any given day with rugby.
The Lady Volcanoes will be coached by Philippine Volcano Joe Palabay Dawson and PRFU Elite Performance Manager Chris Alamil-Everingham.
Both games will be held at the Queenstown Stadium in Singapore. The Philippine Lady Volcanoes will compete against India on June 5, 2018, at 5:00 PM and Singapore on June 8, 2018, at 7:00 PM.