Philippine Volcanoes Closes In On The Asian Top 5

Globe Telecom, a leading telecommunications provider, congratulates the Philippine men’s national rugby team, also known as the Philippine Volcanoes who recently thrashed Malaysia, a nation whose rugby tradition dates back to the 19th century, at the Asian 5 Nations Division 1 tournament in Ansan, Korea.


The final score was 86-20. The Philippine Volcanoes scored 15 tries; their opponent made one. Most of Malaysia’s points came from penalties called on the Philippine team. “We started pretty strong,” said Jake Letts, who shared scrum-half duties with James Price.


“We knew that Malaysia wasn’t going to be as strong as Korea, but we had a job to do,” added Philippine Volcanoes fullback and captain (and Jake’s older brother) Michael Letts. “We didn’t start as well as we wanted to, but we picked ourselves up and finished strongly.”


The Letts brothers were the first half-Filipinos to join the national team in 2005. This A5N team included three pairs of Fil-Aussie brothers: the Lettses, fly-half Oliver and winger Matt Saunders, and forwards Rafael and Rupert Zappia. All of them have played for the national team since the inception of A5N.


“On Wednesday it was tough to lose,” Jake recalled. The Philippines had lost to eventual champion Korea in a hotly-contested match, 20-34.  “We knew the game was ours if a couple of things had gone our way. If we’d gone into extra time the momentum would’ve been with us.


In the final, Korea defeated Singapore 58-19 to return to the Top 5 from which it had fallen last year.


The team is composed of some homegrown players and mostly half-Pinoys who live abroad. “Globe Telecom is thrilled that the athletes did so well in Korea. It is great to see the hard work pay off and the team winning at the Asian 5 nations Division 1 tournament. This is an achievement for the Philippine Rugby team and we congratulate the whole team on their victory,” declares Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu.


National team Coach Expo Mejia was not surprised at the Philippines’ lopsided victory over Malaysia. A former member of the New South Wales Waratahs coaching staff, Mejia is currently the head coach of the Village Lions in New York. He also manages Australasian Rugby, a public company which runs rugby development projects in Asia. Mejia has been the Philippine national coach since 2010.


“At next year’s A5N we’ll play Singapore in the first game, and I’m pretty sure we’ll beat them,” he predicted. “If we play the way we played here, we should be the favorites. Then we play the winner of the match between Sri Lanka (relegated from the Top 5) and Chinese Taipei (promoted from Division 2). I expect Sri Lanka to go through. Us versus Sri Lanka: it’ll be a tough game.”


Sri Lanka has the longest tradition of organized club rugby in Asia while Philippine rugby is only starting to get recognition in its own country.


Scrum-half Jake Letts of the Philippine Volcanoes directs the forward pack in the scrum during the Asian 5 Nations Division 1 tournament in Ansan Korea.  Globe Telecom supports the Philippine National Rugby Team.

GLOBE Congratulates RP Men's Rugby Team by
PRworksPH team
PRworksPH team
A talent powerhouse headed by PRworks Chief Digital Officer Emmanuel Mongaya, former managing editor of Superbalita and former city editor of Sun.Star Cebu. Team members include Global Voices correspondent and blogger Karlo Mikhail Mongaya, our Online Community Manager Ynna Erika Bisnar, digital marketing consultant Borislav Tatarov, and former Sun.Star Publishing Inc. IT boss Sammy Sumaya.


  1. ikastest says:

    I only knew about Philippine rugby after reading this article. It’s great to know that even though a small percentage of Filipinos know that the game of rugby exists, and that a small percentage actually play this game, the Philippine team is doing quite well. I hope they continue to collect more wins and hopefully play in the Rugby World Cup.

    • onlyvic says:

      Hi ikastest!

      Even I only knew about it this time. It has been all about Azkals lately that we almost forget about other sports that Filipinos are into. It’s about time that we also look into other sports interest. =)

  2. anol says:

    We in PRworks also knew about this when we got this story from Globe Telecom. We will ask for more updates on the rugby team.

  3. danny says:

    Ah……rugby union… great sport… it is about time Filipinos learn other international sports… wake up..

    • onlyvic says:

      Indeed. We, Filipinos have been more focused about what’s happening in the Boxing world, how Azkals are doing in the football field and our favorite basketball that we almost not realized that there are more sports Filipinos can be really good at. It is indeed about time. =)

  4. anol says:

    Yup, but they need to perform well internationally to gain popular attention and support among Filipinos. When they gain popularity, I think they will also gain more corporate sponsors.

  5. michael duhig says:

    Visit or for more updates and information regarding rugby in the Philippines. We thank everyone for their support. M.D.

  6. money pacquiao says:

    Hindi naman pinoy mga yan e. Buti pa sa basketball at billiards.

  7. earl the red says:

    pangmayaman lang din ito, parang soccer. sa basketball ring lang kailangan mo, solve ka na. dito kailangan malaki pa katawan. at pogi rin dapat. anubayan.

  8. onlyvic says:

    I respect your opinions, money pacquiao and earl the red.

    However, in my own opinion, di naman kailangan mayaman and gwapo to play soccer, coz there are already some schools here in Cebu having this kind of sport, and they’re not asking for such requirement. yes, it is famous to rich kids dahil sa ibang bansa ito nag originate kaya mostly mga half Pinoys with foreign blood ang naglalaro. But it doesnt mean na ito ang batayan. This is a new sport that we Filipinos are still getting used to.

    Pero in fairness, ha sa Azkals, di lahat mayayaman. Yun nga lang, sikat ang Younghusband sa mga kabataan because of their physical attributes. =)

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