TO bolster its chances for the 2014 Asian Games, the Philippine rugby union team is headed to Mumbai for the third round of the 2013 Asian 7s Series.
The Volcanoes will depart for India on Thursday to play in the tournament scheduled for October 12-13 as they start to build up for next year’s Asiad where the top 12 teams in the region will battle for a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
One of the main goals for the Volcanoes, ranked third in Asia in 2011 and 2012, is a medal finish in Incheon, South Korea, the site of the 2014 Games.
The top 12 teams in Asia are currently competing in the Asian 7s series which will decide the teams that will be invited to the 2014 IRB Hong Kong 7s, which in turn will determine the team rankings in the Asiad.
The Volcanoes, who currently have five of its top players in Japan, are coming of a solid victory over Thailand in its home turf at the Thailand 7s two weeks ago.
The win allowed the Philippine team to move to fifth position in the series and puts them in a position to win back their top three position in the upcoming legs in Mumbai and Singapore.
Coming in as reinforcements for the Mumbai 7s are Fil-foreign players Andrew Wolff and Mark Chatting but missing will be team captain Jake Letts, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury.
The squad has been undergoing twice-a-day training sessions in their Laguna camp.
Coach Matt Cullen expressed confidence that the new players who have been absent for the first two rounds of the series will add to the strength and experience needed to secure a top three spot.
“Both Andrew Wolff and Mark Chatting have been part of the Volcanoes 7s program since their silver medal victory at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games and they enjoy the challenges of playing at the Asian Championships and will come in fresh and ready to fire," Cullen said.