Rugby chief eyeing to hold pocket tournament in Vietnam

Published January 10, 2021, 1:41 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

The Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) is speaking with some Southeast Asian countries to try to organize an unofficial tournament in Vietnam after it was scrapped from the list of sports that would be competed in the 31st Southeast Asian Games late this year.

Ada Milby, who was elected as new PRFU president last month, said the plan would benefit all Southeast Asian countries in boosting the growth of the sport in the region.

“[The goal is also] to showcase and jumpstart a federation there,” Milby said, referring to SEAG host Vietnam which doesn’t have a rugby federation.

Six of 11 countries competed in the rugby sevens event at the 2019 SEA Games that the country hosted where the PH men’s team won the gold medal with a rout of Malaysia. The PH women’s team, meanwhile, settled for silver after yielding to Thailand.

Milby, who served a secretary general before succeeding Ricky Santos, said having an unofficial tournament in Vietnam would also serve as a long-term goal for countries aiming to compete in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Meanwhile, the PRU is reaching out again to the Inter-Agency Task Force to allow them to resume their training.

“Unfortunately, we still haven’t resumed training yet where we play, the majority of rugby in Metro Manila so our first priority is really how can we resume training for our existing player base,” said Milby who is also the first female member in the World Rugby Council.

In the meantime, Milby said they are exploring how they can engage the country’s rugby community in the meantime through their online channels.

“I’d also like to undergo a governance review to ensure our constitution and policies continue to be relevant and fit for purpose especially with the long lasting implications of the impact of the pandemic on the sports environment,” Milby said.