MANILA, Philippines – After a 6-year hiatus, the Philippine Lady Volcanoes will see action once again in the Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Women's Championship (ARWC) in Singapore.
The Lady Volcanoes, who last graced the competition in 2012, will be facing India and Singapore on June 5 and 8, respectively, bannered by the best players from local clubs all over the Philippines and two Filipino players overseas.
Philippines will be led by Cebu Dragons Rugby Club's Aiumi Ono, who is making a return to the international scene following an ACL injury, as team captain.
“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 said.
Ono said that 75% of the team will be playing in their first International 15s game, a testament to the sports' growth in the country.
“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 Lady Volcanoes will be parading rookies Agot Danton of the Davao Durians and Nicole Kovanen and Kaia Briela Baui of Eagles RFC.
Danton, a homegrown talent, also played football in the Street Child World Cup in 2014 as part of the Philippine under-18 squad.
Singapore, the home team, is ranked the highest among all teams but Philippine Rugby general manager Jake Letts said the Philippines is out to show it belongs there too.
"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 Letts.
The Lady Volcanoes will be coached by Philippine Volcano Joe Palabay Dawson and Philippine Rugby Football Union elite performance manager Chris Alamil-Everingham.
Philippines will square off against India on June 5 at 5 pm and Singapore on June 8 at 7 pm, both at the Queenstown Stadium. – Rappler.com