Volcanoes test top-ranked Japan
MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Volcanoes face their biggest challenge to date, when the national rugby team faces Japan in the Elite Division of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations in Fukouka on Saturday, April 20.
On a rapid rise to the top, the Volcanoes test the mettle of the top-ranked Japanese crew in the latter's home turf.
The Philippine squad has been hailed as the team to watch in Asian Rugby, having lost only once since 2008. However, they will be up against Japan -- the only team with a better record than the Volcanoes, having never lost a match since the tournament's inception.
After the Japanese test, the PH team returns home to face Hong Kong at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on May 4 before visiting South Korea on May 11 in the grueling six-week competition among the top 5 teems in Asia.
The A5N also serves as the qualifying competition for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
"We need to win at least one match during the A5N series to remain in the Elite Division for 2014," said team captain Michael Letts. "The winner of the Elite Division in 2014 receives outright qualification to the Rugby World Cup 2015."
Thirty Filipino heritage rugby players compose the Volcanoes team participating in 15, with many of them based in Australia, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom. - Rappler.com