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    PH Volcanoes gear up for Asiad medal quest with stint in Hong Kong Sevens

    Aug 20, 2014
    Geoff Alley, the Volcanoes coach for the Hong Kong and Malaysia legs of the Asian 7s series, says he is happy with the group’s progress. Chris Hettel

    THE Philippine Volcanoes Men’s Rugby Sevens team departs for Hong Kong on Friday to participate in the Hong Kong Asian Sevens which will be held on August 23-24 at the Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley.

    The tournament is the first leg of the annual Asian Sevens Series which will also be held in Malaysia and China.

    While majority of the Volcanoes squad now live in the Philippines, some players are still based overseas which means the team has a limited time before each tournament to train together as a unit. Despite this, Geoff Alley, Volcanoes coach for the Hong Kong and Malaysia legs of the series, is happy with the group’s progress.

    “I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly and how well the boys are coming along. I’m looking forward to leading the Volcanoes into the Hong Kong leg of the Asian 7s series and I’m confident we can do the country proud. We have trained exceptionally well so far and have risen to another level” said Alley, who is staff coach at the International Rugby Academy New Zealand and a former New Zealand Sevens and USA Eagles player.

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    Veteran player, Jake Letts who has once again been chosen to lead the Volcanoes as team captain, shared his views on the team’s prospects.

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    “The team is looking forward to putting in a strong performance in the first leg of the Asian Sevens Series. Training camp has been very positive especially with our new head coach. In the space of five days the team has come together tremendously well and the new players have adapted quickly.”

    Having joined the team in 2006 at 17 years old, Letts’ experience in Rugby Sevens includes a stint in the Hong Kong Sevens, Rugby World Cup Sevens and numerous appearances in the Asian Sevens Series.

    The HK Asian Sevens also serves as the first real test for the Volcanoes’ preparations for the Asian Games scheduled from September 29 to October 2 in Incheon, South Korea. The Volcanoes were one of the first teams that the Philippine Sports Commission deemed qualified to participate in the biennial meet based on their performance in 2013 which included two Plate Trophies in the Asian Sevens Series and the Philippines’ first ever stint in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

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    The 2014 Asian Games is the region’s qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio where Rugby Sevens will make its debut as an official sport.

    The Lady Volcanoes will also be competing in the Hong Kong and Beijing legs of the Asian Sevens Series. Coached by Susan Konstanty and captained by Tammy Fletcher, the women’s team has Philippine heritage players from the United States and Australia but is predominantly composed of players from Manila and Cebu.

    The PH Volcanoes Men’s Sevens Team for HK Asian 7s is composed of Vincent Amar Young, Timothy Bweheni, Kenneth Capinpin Stern, Rupert Dian Zappia, Gareth Dela Rosa Holgate, Jake Robrigado Letts (captain) , Sean Celada Lynch, Ned Plarizan Stephenson, Andrew Penaflorida Wolff, Robert Amalay Jones, Jason Celada Lynch and Chris Alamil Everingham.

    The PH Volcanoes Women’s Sevens Team for HK Asian 7s are: Luisa Jordan, Melanie Umali, Sylvia Tudoc, Acee San Juan, Dixie Yu, Helena Indigne, Michelle Marki, Kaye Honoras, Rassiel Sales, Tammy Fletcher (captain), Rose De la Cruz and Madille Salinas.

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    The Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Sevens Schedule:

    • Malaysia Sevens: September 6-7, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur (Men’s Team)
    • Asian Games: September 29-October 2, Incheon, South Korea (Men’s Team)
    • Beijing Sevens: October 18-19, Beijing, China (Men’s & Women’s Teams)
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    Geoff Alley, the Volcanoes coach for the Hong Kong and Malaysia legs of the Asian 7s series, says he is happy with the group’s progress. Chris Hettel
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