Source : Philippine Star Sports
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Volcanoes play two crucial matches in the next two weeks, hoping to do well as they visit Korea Saturday and on home front against UAE on May 18 to avoid relegation from the HSBC Asia Five Nations (HSBC A5N).
In partnership with FILA, the Volcanoes are inviting Filipino rugby fans to support them as they tangle with their UAE rivals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The Volcanoes, made up mostly of Fil-foreign rugby players recruited from around the world, are also gearing up for a first-ever stint in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Russia next month.
“This year marks a new era for the Philippine Volcanoes as they bring the Philippine flag to the World Cup. Pride truly burns deep as this athletic feat is a big first for the country – even deeper for Fila Philippines which will accompany the Volcanoes to the prestigious competition as their official sponsor,” said Fila Philippines owner Chris Albert.
Among the team’s leading players are team captain Michael Letts, Jake Letts, Gareth Holgate, Patrice Olivier, Matt Saunders, Andrew Wolff, Harry Morris, Ben Saunders, Juntine Coveney and Alex Aronson.
The coming days will see the arrival of veteran forwards Josh Sutcliffe, Phil Abraham, and Michael de Guzman to beef up the team’s injury-depleted forward lineup.
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In a press conference at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City, Letts and his teammates expressed great pride and honor playing for the Philippines.
“I play for my heritage, and it feels great to be appreciated,” said Coveney, the 27-year-old Fil-Australian inside center.
“What unites us is the opportunity to play for our heritage,” said Aronson, the 20-year-old Fil-Am fly-half.
“It’s really a privilege and honor to represent the Philippines. Every time we play, it’s for the Philippines,” said Fil-British Wolff.
The Volcanoes are out to redeem themselves after a rout in Japan and a humbling defeat versus Hong Kong at the Rizal Football Stadium Saturday.
Before the loss to Hong Kong, the Volcanoes had a proud record of a perfect home game record in the HSBC Asian Five Nations.
Next to Japan, the Volcanoes are the most successful team in the Asian Five Nations. Last year, the Phl team stormed into the Top Five with an unbeaten run, besting Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Sri Lanka in a round-robin series.