|2018 captains and co-captains of the SPI 15s Rugby Championships. Raymond Braganza/PRFU|
By Dugout Philippines
MANILA--Team captains and co-captains from the nations top rugby teams gathered together last night for a traditional season launch to earmark what looks to be a new era for rugby in the Philippines
The Rugby 15s Championships, sponsored by Seapac Industries (SPI), kicks off on Saturday for the first round of the Championship Division to to be held at Southern Plains. Fourteen teams across Luzon will be competing for the division titles.
The SPI 15s runs each year on the rugby calendar, traditionally the Eagles RFC have been victorious for the past five years.
However, in 2017, it was the Manila Nomads and the Clark Jets who took the honors.
Over 14 rounds, and a final series, the league will decide who will reign in as rugby champions for 2018.
Rugby in the Philippines is looking to invest more in the domestic scene to inspire and encourage more Filipinos and more members of the community to get involved in the sport.
“For 2018, Philippine Rugby will focus on community, family, fun and living an active lifestyle outdoors. We are aiming to make Saturday events family days. We want families, friends, fans, supporters, sponsors and keen rugby enthusiasts to enjoy their Saturdays in the sun and make a day out of it. Bring the kids down, will host theme days, family friendly water activities and a family style BBQ to keep attendees engaged not only on the day, but whilst a great brand of local Rugby is played. Our tagline for 2018, Saturday is Rugby Day,” Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby shared.
For 2018, Philippine Rugby have launched a Colts Series (U19s) contested between the Eagles RFC and the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks followed by a Men’s and Women’s open division.
Teams from Manila, Subic, Clark, Albay and Alabang formulate this year's SPI Championships.
Last night, the respective Captains and Leaders of each team gathered to open the season for 2018 to reflect on the new year.
“Looking back, 2017 was great for the Manila Nomads, winning the Premiership in the 15s was indeed a highlight for our year. This year is going to be another close series, the Eagles as always will put together their best and give it their all. Its going to be a battle,” said Nick Jones of Manila Nomads.
“We are excited for the 15s season, Rugby in the Philippines is growing and playing 15s is where a lot of our players learn the basic skills of Rugby. Our players have the opportunity to play against the best, I look forward to competition and representing Mavericks Rugby Club” Sylvia Tudoc of the Lady Santos Knight Frank Mavericks shared.
Games kick off tomorrow at 12:30pm, the Makati Chiefs will open the round against the Manila Carabaos. At 2:15pm the Subic Jet Sharks play the Albay Bulkans and at 4:00pm the HMR Ibons (Eagles RFC) take on the Santos Knight Frank Mavericks.
Entry is free at Southern Plains, Laguna.
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