PRFU announces male, female Volcanoes lineup for SEA Games

By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--The national rugby sevens teams, the Philippine Volcanoes and the Philippine Lady Volcanoes, finalized their playing rosters for this weekend’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

For the Lady Volcanoes, Coach Shirley Russell has retained nine athletes from her 2015 team which took out the bronze in Singapore.

"The ladies have an additional two-year experience since our last SEA Games. Their skills and positional awareness have increased. We are in a much better position for this year’s games. Our aim is to qualify for the gold medal match," Russell stated.

The ladies look to experience in Rassiel Sales, Acee San Juan and Sylvia Tudoc to lead the national team.

Their opening match is against gold medal favourites Thailand, followed by Laos, Singapore on the first day and Malaysia on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the men's team aims for back-to-back gold medals.

The men's side open their SEA Games defense against Indonesia and Cambodia, followed by host nation Malaysia on Day 1.

In Day 2, the Philippines faces Singapore and Thailand to conclude the round robin format.

The top two teams will be seeded into the gold medal match with the next two for the bronze. The same format goes for the women's division.

Coaches Frano Botica and David Johnston named Harrison Blake as team captain.

Blake returns from a successful Asia Trophy Series in February, where the Volcanoes secured the gold in Doha.

"It's an absolute honor and privilege to be named captain, I'm looking forward to the weekend. My main message for the players is to make sure they know their roles and do their jobs well. We know we have the team to win it, we aim to execute and bring home gold for the country," Blake shared.

Another impact selection for the men's squad is young Jonel Madrona, who starred in the Volcanoes tour in April.  Madrona will be playing in his first ever SEA Games. 

The Volcanoes will depart to the games on Thursday before taking the field at MBPJ Stadium, Kelana Jaya on Saturday and Sunday.

Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH