Philippines national rugby union team
|Union||Philippine Rugby Football Union|
|Most caps||Jake Letts (22)|
|Top scorer||Oliver Saunders (161)|
|Most tries||Matthew Saunders (13)|
| Guam 14–18 Philippines
(May 20, 2006)
| Philippines 101–0 Brunei
(July 2, 2008)
| Japan 121–0 Philippines
(April 20, 2013)
The Philippine national rugby union team, nicknamed the "Volcanoes" represents the Philippines in international rugby union. The Philippines have yet to make their debut at the Rugby World Cup, but have been playing in the Asian 5 Nations tournaments since its inception in 2008. Currently they are the reigning Division I champions and are promoted to the top 5 for the 2013 tournament.
In the March 19, 2012 IRB World Rankings, Philippines, along with Mexico and Pakistan, were listed for the first time, entering with the base rating of 40 points (which positioned the three national teams in 71st place). In the April 16, 2012 IRB World Rankings, the Philippines ranked 62, their highest rank ever since the team was created. With their unbeaten record in the latest Asian 5 Nations Division I tournament, and promotion to the Asian 5 Nations main tournament, the rank of the team rose to 55th as they are about to be joining the best of all the Asian teams in 2013.
The Philippines played its first international match in 2006. Rugby union in the Philippines was introduced mainly through the large number of British, Australian and New Zealand expatriates living in the country. In 1998 the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU), the national governing body for rugby union in the Philippines, was formed and in 2008 the PRFU gained full membership to the international governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB).
In December 2005, the Philippine national sevens rugby team captured the gold medal in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games rugby sevens tournament (as a demonstration sport), beating Indonesia, 32-5 in Manila.
On May 20, 2006, the Philippines won its international test match debut 18-14 against Guam with the majority of the squad composed of long term expatriate residents and a small number of Filipino players. In December 2006, the Philippines Under-19 went undefeated in the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Under-19 Second Division Tournament.
In December 2007, an all-Filipino rugby team was selected for the 24th South East Asian games in Thailand where they reached the Medal rounds after 2 days of hard fought pool matches. They defeated Malaysia in the semi-finals in golden point extra time. In the gold medal match, the Philippines was matched against the home side Thailand. With both sides locked at 14 all at half time, Thailand finally took control of the game late in the second half to win the 29 - 14. The Silver Medal performance at the South East Asian Games had opened doors for the expansion and development of the game in the Philippines.
In 2008, the Philippines dominated the fourth-tier of the ARFU Asian 5 Nations Series and captured the inaugural Division 4 title. During the tournament, the Philippines demolished Brunei 101-0 and then defeated the home side Guam 20-8 to capture the division title.
In 2009 the Philippines won the inaugural Asian 5 Nations Division III rugby tournament at the Nomads field in Parañaque City. Defeating Iran 15-0 and Guam 25-0 in their two matches, the Philippines were then promoted to the Asian Five Nations Division II rugby tournament.
In 2010 the Philippines competed in the Asian 5 Nations Division II tournament and won it beating India in the final on a score of 44-12. Also in 2010 they played in ARFU Rugby 7s tournaments in Shanghai, Borneo and the Asian Games in Guangzhou.
In 2012 the Philippines competed in the Asian 5 Nations Division I tournament and went unbeaten in the round-robin series against Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka, therefore qualifying for the main division for the first time. The Volcanoes also qualified for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens to be held in Moscow, Russia the following year by placing in the top 3 in the HSBC Asian Sevens Series.
2013 marked a big year for the Volcanoes, making their debuts in the Asian 5 Nations Top 5 for the first time as well as the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. The Volcanoes suffered heavy defeats in the 2013 edition of A5N, however showed good signs with a competitive first half against Hong Kong in Manila, and a win to avoid relegations against UAE also in Manila. Following the relative success of the Volcanoes in the 15-man game, the Volcanoes competed in the Sevens World Cup, this was a historic event for Philippine sport as the Volcanoes were the first Filipino team to compete in any world cup. The Volcanoes showed signs of development since their inception, however succumbed to expected defeats in each of their games.
Nickname and emblem
The Philippines national rugby union team is nicknamed the 'Volcanoes'. The name comes from the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment that fought under the command of the United States Army. It was made up of Filipino-Americans with a few Filipino veterans which fought in World War II. The PRFU thought the situation was similar to the first Philippines national team which mainly consisted of foreign expatriates with only a few Filipinos.
The emblem of the team is based on the insignia of the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment. One of its features is a volcano which represents where the infantry units were located.
Their test match record against all nations:
|United Arab Emirates||1||1||0||0||100%|
Head coach: Jarred Hodges
Last updated after Philippines vs Japan March 20, 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only.
- Mike McMahon (2006)
- Matthew Cullen (2007–2009)
- Expo Mejia (2009–2013)
- Jarred Hodges (2013–)
- Stuart Woodhouse (2013, caretaker)
- Pacific-Asia Regional Champions: 2008
- Division 3 Champions: 2009
- Division 2 Champions: 2010
- Division 1 Champions: 2012
- Magellan Cup
- "IRB World Rankings - 16 April 2012". IRB.com. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- "Philippines to join Asia's elite in 2013". RugbyWorldCup.com. April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- "Trio on rise after RWC 2015 qualifier wins". rugbyworldcup.com. International Rugby Board. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- Fopalan, Reneé. "Mission accomplished: PHL Volcanoes erupt at Asia 5 Nations, beat Sri Lanka". GMANetwork.com. GMA Network. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Welcom to the Philippine Volcanoes' blog!". Team Philippine Volcanoes. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
- "California and Second World War - California's Filipino Infantry". MilitaryMuseum.org. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
- "Philippines - head to head summary". Rugby Data. Retrieved 2011-03-17.
- "Philippine team named for A5N match against Japan". Philippine Rugby Football Union. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Philippine Rugby Football Union official website
- Philippines at IRB.com
- Manila 10s the social Rugby tournament that has promoted Rugby Union in the Philippines