PH men's rugby team aims for back-to-back gold in SEA Games


PH men's rugby team aims for back-to-back gold in SEA Games

A new-look squad will try to repeat a gold medal finish in a version of the game which favors speed over brute force

Bob Guerrero

Published 5:00 PM, July 13, 2017

Updated 7:55 PM, August 02, 2017

Rugby was an unlikely source of medals in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore and this year's team would like to continue that trend.

In 2015 the men, dubbed the Philippine Volcanoes, vanquished Malaysia in the gold medal game while an almost completely homegrown Filipina side took home bronze in Women's sevens. Only 7-a-side rugby and not the 15-a-side game is played in the SEA Games.

According to Jake Robrigado Letts, who is both a national team player and is head of the national teams with the Philippine Rugby Football Union, several players from the 2015 men's team are still awaiting release from their clubs in Japan to be allowed to play. Meanwhile a passel of promising Philippine-based boys is training and hoping to make the final cut of 12 players.

“The local boys are working hard, are dedicated to the process and are improving weekly,” says coach David Johnston, a very experienced 59-year old Canadian who has been living in the Philippines for 5 years. Johnston had been the Canadian U21 15-a-side men's coach in the past.



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