Globe reaffirms alliance with PH Volcanoes as road to Olympics begins

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PRFU announced on Thursday a four-year partnership renewal between the Volcanoes and Globe Telecommunications.

The said partnership renewal came in time for the Volcanoes' rugby sevens side's early preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

“Over the next four years, Philippine rugby has identified key events leading into 2020. Globe has actually had an interest in rugby as far back as 2010, so we are excited to be renewing ties with one of the Philippines’ most iconic brands. The renewal allows our national team to step up the professionalism and boost our chances of performing well in key events each year,” said Jakey Letts, the long-time national team skipper who also acts as the PRFU's national teams head.

The major plan for the renewed alliance is the professionalization of the local rugby sevens scene, which will allow the Volcanoes to become even more competitive in regional play.

Letts hopes that the said plan will come into fruition by 2019, when the Philippines will host the SEA Games.

“With the Philippines hosting the SEA Games in 2019, we believe the sport in general will be huge in the country. We look forward to showing why rugby is such a rapidly growing sport and of course playing in front of our supporters. The SEA Games in 2019 will be a spectacle and we want rugby sevens to be leading the way,” claimed Letts.

The road to Tokyo for the Volcanoes will start this weekend with the Asia Trophy Series in Doha.

The champion of the said event will gain outright participation to the Asian Sevens Series in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Sri Lanka this September.

Up next for the Volcanoes is the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in August, where they will try to defend their championship there.

Also at their sights is the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where they will try to improve from their fifth place finish in 2014 and even go for a medal there.

“I believe with the right roster and valuable time playing together we can reach that podium in 2018,” added Letts.

The team will be coached by former New Zealand All Black Frano Botica and David Johnston.

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