Volcanoes play on home turf in ARC

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 31 2015 02:23 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2015 10:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Volcanoes look to make the most out of the home-field advantage when they battle foreign rivals in the Asian Rugby Championship (ARC) Division 1 on May 6 and 9 at the new Philippine Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“We’re very excited to be back playing on home soil,” said Volcanoes captain Oliver Saunders, whose group will be the first national team to play at the 25,000-seater stadium inside the Iglesia ni Cristo-owned Ciudad de Victoria Complex.

“The prospect of playing in front of our countrymen and relatives never fails to pump up the team. It’s a special feeling to feel and hear the crowd’s support. It definitely pushes us to do better,” he added.

The Volcanoes will enter the competition as the top-ranked team against Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Singapore. They will face Singapore on May 6 at 4 p.m. seeking to advance to the Division 1 championship match set three days later against the winner of the other opening-day game between Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan.

Philippine Rugby Football Union director for Rugby Matt Cullen said the PRFU won the hosting rights of the ARC – formerly known as the Asian 5 Nations – on account of the Philippine Stadium’s topnotch facilities.

“The Philippine Stadium was the key to securing the right to host the tournament. Upon inspection, the tournament officials were immediately impressed with its world-class facility,” said Cullen, expressing gratitude to the INC for supporting the PRFU throughout the bidding process.

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