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Philippines aims to remain as regional kingpins at the inaugural South East Asia 7s in Singapore

Angeline Friday, April 15, 2016 , , , , ,


Defending SEA Games Philippines is hoping to have another great outing in Singapore at the inaugural South East Asia 7s (SEA 7s) this weekend, despite retaining just three members from last year’s gold-medal winning side.

• Volcanoes 7s has retained three players from last August’s SEA Games gold medal winning side
• Seven teams from Southeast Asia confirmed for the men’s event, while six nations will compete in the women’s event
Jointly sanctioned by World Rugby and Asian Rugby, the South East Asia 7s is one of the key ancillary activities of the 8th leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series taking place in Singapore on 16 and 17th April. The South East Asia 7s kicks off at Yio Chu Kang Stadium on 15th April and the final will be played the next day at the iconic Singapore National Stadium on Day One of the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens.

At last August’s SEA Games held in Singapore, Philippines beat Malaysia 24-7 for the men’s gold medal and a month later at the China 7s in Qingdao, Philippines again beat Malaysia 19-17. However since then, bitter rivals Malaysia has beaten Philippines twice, a 21-19 win in Colombo at the Sri Lanka 7s and a 15-10 win in Hong Kong during last November’s Olympics qualifiers.

“Our goal in Singapore is of course to win the tournament,” said Jake Letts, Head of the Philippines’ National Teams. “The Philippines will always be confident in the squad sent to compete. With the changes made to the Philippines Volcanoes, Malaysia could be seen as favorites. With rugby development in Singapore and its professionally financed union, Singapore will be hard to beat at home. Our chances however, are as good as any, especially with the unpredictability of 7s rugby.”

Since April 9, the Philippines sevens teams have been in high performance training camp in Southern Plains Field in Calamba, Lagune. This camp acts as a full time program leading up to the tournament in Singapore and features two sessions a day together with team meetings, recovery sessions and game plan management before both national teams depart on Thursday April 14.

Added Letts: “The men's team will be significantly different for this tournament with the aim of developing new national players into the program. This tournament acts as a stepping stone for the Philippines Rugby Football Union to breed new players and test their abilities on the Asian level. The team will be fairly young with some debutants having the opportunity to make their mark. For the Women's, most players from the 2015 SEA Games bronze medal winning team remain.”

According to last year’s SEA Games winning captain Letts, the Men's team will breed a few exciting young players with the likes of Andrew Pagalilauan Ramsden, Robert Benitez McCafferty and Tommy Kalaw Gilbert. These players are all young Filipino heritage players with exciting potential and will be looking to show their speed and skill at the SEA 7s.
The 8-team men’s competition will feature host Singapore (2 teams), Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia, and such a competition is viewed as a boost to regional rugby development.
“Rugby 7s is obviously going to get more support after the inclusion in the Olympics and also with Japan hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup,” explained Jetts. “I believe the SEA 7s is a great concept and will grow and develop the sport of rugby in the region. With the HSBC World Sevens Series being held in Singapore each year, the SEA 7s gives the Southeast Asian nations another tournament to participate every year and to compete on a level playing field. This allows valuable on-field experience to get stronger to compete with the likes of Hong Kong and Japan at the Asian level.”
The women’s competition meantime, will feature six nations, host nation Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Malaysia and current South East Asian Games champion Thailand.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens in Singapore is the only Southeast Asian stop on the 10-leg global series. Rugby fans in Southeast Asia will relish the opportunity to watch World Cup heroes like New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams, Samoan magic man Phoenix Hunapo-Tofoa and Kenya’s record hunter Collins Injera (current second on all-time Series try scorer list with 221) and many other stars in action.
Besides two-days of world-class rugby action, spectators can enjoy exclusive set from British superstar DJ Pete Tong at the conclusion of play on 16th April under the state of the art domed stadium in Singapore with its special air-cooled system. All rugby fans can also look forward to a family-friendly carnival with exciting games and activities all weekend at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Overseas fans can expect a seamless 7s experience which takes them from the Singapore National Stadium to iconic riverside attraction Clarke Quay.
Following the DJ set from Pete Tong, ticket holders can hop onto a shuttle bus service to Official After Party venue Clarke Quay where a music festival awaits them. All ticket holders will enjoy great discounts and privileges at restaurants and nightspots at Clarke Quay and other locations islandwide such as Sentosa, Boat Quay and the Marina Bay district.
Admission to the SEA 7s at Yio Chu Kang on 15th April is free, while ticket prices to the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens at the National Stadium ranged from S$50 (1713 PHP) to S$150 (5141 PHP) for adults. Children under 12 years of age only need to pay S$2 (68 PHP) for Category Two and Three tickets. All prices exclude booking fees and tickets are available online at www.singapore7s.sg
About Rugby Singapore Pte Ltd
In a first for a National Sports Association, Rugby Singapore was created in May 2015 to act as the special purpose vehicle to handle commercial and events of the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU). With a board of directors from Sport Singapore and SRU and a team of sports industry professionals, Rugby Singapore serves to protect stakeholders’ interests and to mitigate any risks in events promotion. Its main role is to manage the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens and ensuring its long-term commercial viability.
About HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens
In April 2015, Singapore announced a four-year deal to host a stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, joining Vancouver, Sydney, Cape Town and Paris as the new host cities on the 10-leg series. To be hosted at the iconic Sports Hub’s National Stadium on 16 and 17 April 2016, the two-day extravaganza will feature rugby powerhouses – from the flamboyant Fijians to the irrepressible Kiwis to the exhilarating South African Blitzboks. Besides thrilling on-field action and an electrifying atmosphere, expect plenty of entertainment and fringe activities that will deliver a unique experience to spectators from all walks of life.
About World Rugby Sevens Series
The eight-month long 2015-2016 World Rugby Sevens Series - featuring 16 of the world’s top rugby nations - will conclude before the Rio Summer Olympics 2016 where Sevens rugby returns as an Olympic sport. Singapore is the eighth leg of the Series, joining other global cities like Sydney, Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, London, Vancouver, Paris. The 2013-2014 HSBC Sevens World Series was a record-breaking success on and off the field with 569,262 fans attending the nine events around the world. Broadcast coverage of 4,590 hours were achieved across 145 countries and programming was aired in 12 languages across 34 channels, with an estimated 400 million homes and 900 million people reached.
The official schedule for the 2015–16 World Rugby Sevens Series is as follows:
Leg, City Dates Winner
Dubai, Dubai 4-5 Dec 2015 Fiji
South Africa, Cape Town 12-13 Dec 2015 South Africa
New Zealand, Wellington 30-31 Jan 2016 New Zealand
Australia, Sydney 6-7 Feb 2016 New Zealand
United States, Las Vegas 4-6 Mar 2016 Fiji
Canada, Vancouver 12-13 Mar 2016 New Zealand
Hong Kong, Hong Kong 8-10 Apr 2016 Fiji
Singapore, Singapore 16-17 Apr 2016
France, Paris 14-15 May 2016
England, London 20-22 May 2016
For more information on Rugby Singapore and the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens, visit www.singapore7s.sg or follow us on:
Facebook @Singapore Rugby 7s (https://facebook.com/sgrugby7s
Twitter @SgRugby7s (https://twitter.com/sgrugby7s) and
Instagram @SgRugby7s (https://instagram.com/sgrugby7s)
Event: HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens
Date: Saturday, 16th April 2016 | Sunday, 17th April 2016
Venue: National Stadium
Singapore Sports Hub | 1 Stadium Drive, Singapore 397629
Teams Playing: 16 Teams, comprising Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, The United States, Wales and Japan

Hospitality: Hospitality Lounge (Level 4) – Total of 2 (500 Pax Each)

Fringe Activities: School Outreach Programme
TAG 7s: The programme teaches and encourages players to use basic rugby skills and to instil rugby values – teamwork, respect, discipline and sportsmanship. The programme aim to each 140 schools, more than 14,000 students over a period of 4 hours (age 8 to 18 years).

Adopt A Country: 16 schools will adopt a playing country and research on the country ahead of their arrival in Singapore. This will allow students to deepen their knowledge of visiting countries and embrace different cultures.

Schools Sevens: The final of this year’s Under-14 Schools Sevens will be played at the National Stadium. This is a historic first for Schools Sevens rugby.

Community Engagement Programme
Volunteer Programme: The programme aims to instil the spirit of volunteerism in the community and encourage players to give back to the sport. We are targeting 300 volunteers to assist in various areas of the event.

Development Programme
Heroes In The Making: A training clinic was held for 60 U16 players by former Blacks Sevens star Scott Waldron and two players were selected from the cohort to travel on an all-expenses paid trip to attend elite training programme in Wellington, New Zealand.

Other Activities
Charity Gala Dinner: A platform for business community to network, as well as an opportunity to raise funds for a charitable organisation.
South East Asia Sevens: Develop and host an annual World Rugby sanctioned rugby sevens tournament for South-east Asia playing countries. The final of the South East Asia Sevens will be played on Saturday Apr 16 at the National Stadium.

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