The Philippine national men’s rugby sevens team is set to make its debut in big time international competition after receiving an invitation to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, one of the most prestigious seven-a-side rugby union tournaments in the world.
The Volcanoes received an invitation to the event, which is slated on March 23-25 in Hong Kong, by virtue of their strong performance in the Borneo Sevens last September, finishing second behind Asia’s top rugby sevens squad Japan.
“This invitation to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens marks a milestone in the history of the Union,” said Philippine Rugby Football Union president Alvin San Diego.
“It’s a testament to the hard work of our players, coaches and supporters and more importantly, proof that Filipinos can excel in the sport of rugby.”
The Hong Kong Sevens is one of the tournaments that comprise the International Rugby Board Sevens World Series, which represent the sport’s elite-level competition. The World Series feature 16 “core” members in the competition, and the Hong Kong Sevens is the only tournament in the series that invite eight more teams to participate.
Powerhouse New Zealand is the defending champion of the Hong Kong Sevens, with other top rugby sevens teams South Africa, England, Fiji, and Samoa also expected to battle for the title.