PH Rugby kicks off talent identification program

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2021 03:47 PM

Coach David Johnston runs a joint session for the national men's and women's program in the Philippines. File photo courtesy of Philippine Rugby
Coach David Johnston runs a joint session for the national men's and women's program in the Philippines. File photo courtesy of Philippine Rugby

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Rugby and the Philippine Volcanoes on Sunday launched their global talent identification and recruitment program, with the first of 10 sessions taking place in Brisbane, Queensland.

The Volcanoes' national program had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that their rugby program would continue to rise.

Philippine Rugby was forced to halt its local domestic season as well as all contact training sessions in March 2020, as the government imposed strict restrictions. After 18 months, the country still faces great challenges in managing the pandemic.

As there are still restrictions on the domestic side, the Union has decided to focus on international participation to ensure Filipinos are able to have access to play rugby, regardless of their location. 

For instance, a successful partnership with the Brothers Rugby Club - Brisbane allows Filipinos playing rugby in Queensland access to the Unions high performance recruitment program. A number of successful players from Queensland Australia have represented the Philippines at the highest level, a pool of talent that has been identified.

"There are approximately 12 million Filipinos who live outside the Philippines, a small percentage of whom play rugby. We want to target these populations globally to identify, track, monitor and select those that show promise," said Jake Letts of Philippine Rugby and the Philippine Volcanoes.

The talent identification and recruitment day in Brisbane is the first stop of the global program. 

The same project will be done in NSW Australia, Auckland New Zealand, Hong Kong, Dubai, England, the USA and Canada over the next 12 months.

"We are lucky enough to have a global Philippine Rugby community, with a presence in each of these countries. We have called upon our Volcanoes Alumni to help assist with the program. Each program will be represented by present or past members of our Union," said Letts.

"This ensures the quality of the program will not be lost and act as a model of reengagement in a time where the world has been halted."

The two-hour field session in Crosby Park, Albion was open to youth players from from 15 years and above, plus men and women.

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