Asian Games 2023: PH Volcanoes kick off rugby 7s bid

The Philippines parades a mix of players with varied championship and international experience when it takes on Malaysia in Pool A at the start of the 19th Asian Games rugby Sevens competition on Sunday, September 24.

The match is set at 10:00 a.m. at the Hangzhou Normal University Cangqian Athletics field with veteran co-captains Tommy Gilbert and Kai Stroem leading the charge of the 12-member squad with their wealth of experience and leadership on the field.

At 6:30 p.m. also on Sunday, the team, known as the Volcanoes, battles Hongkong. The final is set Tuesday, September 26.

Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Team [photo credit: Philippine Rugby Instagram]
Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Team [photo credit: Philippine Rugby Instagram]

The team includes veterans Vincent Young and Justin Coveney, who were part of the 2014 Asian Games team that finished fifth, as well as youngsters Raphael Barberis and Rafael Phillips.

Eight players from the 2022 Asia Rugby Sevens team which finished in third place in Incheon, South Korea, are also in the lineup to backstop the team.

Also on the team whose members were culled from an 18-player training camp are Donald Canon Coleman, Joe Palabay Dawson, Luc Villalba Smith, Jerome Padillo Rudder, Robert Luceno Fogerty and Nicholas Gaffud Robertson

Head coach is Darryl Suasua with Davida Suasua as assistant coach, Reece Jones as physiotherapist and Lalaine Bacus as team manager.

Philippine Rugby Football Union President Ada Milby and Vice President and treasurer Gaz Holgate thanked the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee for their unwavering support to Philippine rugby.

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