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Volcanoes to go all out in Asia Rugby Championship

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The Philippine Volcanoes National Men’s Rugby team is on its final stages of preparation for this week’s Asia Rugby Championship at the Philippine Sports Stadium. The relentless summer heat has not been a hindrance in the Volcanoes’ training schedule.

Most days we have two field sessions, one in the morning and one late afternoon, as well as strength training in the gym on selected days. There are also team meetings before each field session to look over what we are about to do on the field. We don’t have the luxury of training together full-time, so it’s important to get the learning done early.” shares Team Captain, Oliver Abalos Saunders.

Stu Woodhouse, Volcanoes Head Coach, gives his assessment of the team’s progress so far.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Volcanoes to go all out in Asia Rugby Championship News

The camp has been highly productive in meeting all of our planned outcomes. We are finding the combination and continuity of selection over the past few years proving invaluable in the cohesion of our team plays. With less than a week until our first test match against Singapore, we are just putting the detail into our team plays and structures.”

Despite this, Woodhouse isn’t taking anything for granted. ”We know the Sri Lankans will be aggressive in the tackle and look to force turnovers at the breakdown. They are very dangerous on the counter attack. Although we have had few or no recent encounters with Singapore and Kazakhstan, we do know they will arrive well-prepared with months of training beforehand.

Abalos Saunders echoed his Coach’s sentiments, “Although we enter this division ranked first based on last-year’s results, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan are actually higher in the World Rugby rankings. Their advantage is that they train together as a team for extended periods of time. It will not be an easy tournament for us and we will need to be at our absolute best to win. We’re all very excited to be playing in front of a home crowd and we’re going to leave everything on the field to bring honor to the Philippines.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Volcanoes to go all out in Asia Rugby Championship News

Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Championship opens on May 6, with Sri Lanka going against Kazakhstan at 2pm, while the Philippines and Singapore face off at 4pm. On Saturday, May 9, the battle for third place will be held at 4:00pm, and the final kicks off at 6:00pm. This will be the first international sports event featuring national teams to be held at the brand-new Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan. The stadium is part of the sprawling 70-hectare Ciudad de Victoria complex built by the Iglesia ni Cristo organization.

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