PH Volcanoes soar in world rankings; face South Korea tomorrow

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The International Rugby Board released its new rankings Monday, where the Philippines achieved its highest ranking in two years. The Volcanoes climbed to 52nd in the world, just two years after debuting at 72nd in 2012.

The new ranking came a day after the Philippines earned an emotional 26-25 win against Sri Lanka.

“Our boys showed a lot of resilience and character. I’m very proud of our team for never giving up. The culture & brotherhood that the Volcanoes have is something special to be a part of .It’s great to finally give our supporters a win.” said team captain Oli Saunders.

The win also ensured the the Philippines would not end up in last place in the Elite division.

The Volcanoes have another chance to climb even higher with a home game against Asian juggernauts South Korea (26th) on Saturday at the Southern Plains Field in Laguna.

The winner of the match will earn a third place finish in the A5N Premier Division, while the losing team will join Sri Lanka in Division 1 next year.

The Philippines started its A5N campaign by getting shutout 108-0 by Asian powerhouse Hong Kong on April 26 at the Hong Kong Football Club Stadium. They hosted Japan and lost 99-10 defeat earlier this month, before salvaging a road win against Sri Lanka at the Race Course Rugby Grounds.

The players who have been selected for the Philippines’ Asian 5 Nations match against South Korea are as follows:

1. Dacanay, Austin Garnica – Loose Head (FR)
2. Abraham, Phil Benares – Hooker (FR)
3. Sinclair, Philip – Tight Head (FR)
4. Feeney, David – Lock
5. Heward, Ashley Matias – Lock
6. Bweheni, Timothy – Flanker
7. Fong, Ronald Keh – Flanker
8. Howorth, Stephen Pagtalunan – No. 8
9. Letts, Jake Robrigado – Scrum Half
10. Saunders, Oliver Abalos (captain) – Outside Half
11. Holgate, Gareth dela Rosa – Wing
12. Coveney, Justin Villazor – Center
13. Saunders, Matthew Abalos – Center
14. Stern, Kenneth Capinpin – Wing
15. Letts, Michael Robrigado – Full Back
16. Sekiguchi, Masayuki – Reserve
17. Robinson-Polkey, David Paz – Reserve
18. Anderson, Christopher – Reserve
19. Seeto, Darran Centillas – Reserve
20. Gomez, Cleo Ferrer – Reserve
21. Aronson, Alexander Norona – Reserve
22. Melrose, Daniel Apale – Reserve
23. Morris, Harry Dionson – Reserve

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