Eighteen players were called up to the national team pool for the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier from April 5-7 in Hong Kong.

As announced on Thursday, Joe Dawson, Robert Fogerty, and Justin Coveney, who have been stellar during their current careers with the Volcanoes, will lead the pool.

Joining them are Christopher Bird, Daniel Matthews, Donald Coleman, Edlen Hernandez, Even Spargo, Jerome Rudder, Jonico Hardwick, Mark Roberts, Patrice Olivier, Ryan Howe, Tim Berry, Tim Bweheni, Timothy Gilbert, Vincent Young, and first-timer Jaime Chuidian.

Former New Zealand national team player Frano Botica will be the Volcanoes’ head coach for the tournament with David Johnston being his assistant.

“The coaches have kept 13 players from the 2018 group, plus adding Daniel Matthews who was the captain in 2017 but was unavailable last year due to injury. Joining Danny in selection will be Tommy Gilbert, who was also one of our best in 2017 but also suffered a long-term injury in 2017.

In addition to these two, Patrice Oliver returns to the program after settling commitments with his professional club in Japan last year. Plus we have an exciting young Jaime Chuidian graduating from our youth program who will add a fresh new face to the group,” said Philippine Rugby Football Union general manager Jake Letts.

The Volcanoes will join 11 other contingents, including host Hong Kong, in the World Series Qualifier, which will run concurrently with the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

The winner of the qualifying tournament will book a spot in next season’s World Rugby Sevens Series.

The Volcanoes pool will be trimmed down to 16 at the start of the training camp on March 22, and the final roster will be revealed just before the qualifier. (PNA)


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