Intl Rugby Board: PH Volcanoes 'remarkable', 'biggest climber'
MANILA, Philippines - In an article on its official website, the International Rugby Board reviewed the highs and lows of the sport in 2012, where in they celebrated the achievements of the Philippine men's national team.
For the first time ever, the Philippine Volcanoes entered the rankings in March -- which lists the top 100 rugby teams in the world -- along with Mexico and Pakistan. Four more countries joined the rankings in December.
The article praised the Philippines however, as the standout addition.
"Of these seven nations, the Philippines are the ones to have left their mark, ending the year 15 places higher than they entered the rankings after winning the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division 1 title on home soil in April to earn their place alongside the continent’s elite in 2013," it said.
It went on to call the Philippines' climb "remarkable," pointing out that it was only in 2008 that that they played in the 6th tier of the Asian 5 Nations.
IRB also emphasized that it is not only the country's 15s side that has been successful, but their 7s side as well.
Last November, the Volcanoes qualified for the 2013 Rugby World Cup 7s in Russia for the first time in history.
The team's success made the Philippines, which first entered the rankings in 71st place and ended the year at the 56th spot, "the biggest climbers in 2012" along with Colombia. - Rappler.com