Strengthening PH-NZ relations through rugby

posted April 05, 2017 at 09:01 pm
by  Manila Standard Sports
THE New Zealand Navy Rugby team took on the Philippine Volcanoes in a couple of friendly matches at the International School Manila on Tuesday.

“We thought bringing in our Navy team to play against the Philippine team would make for entertaining and competitive games,” New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan said.

The games are part of continuing efforts to strengthen sports diplomacy between New Zealand and the Philippines. 

Last year, Lito Ramirez, the first home-grown Filipino to make the National Rugby Sevens team was sent to Mt Manganui in New Zealand for a four-week training program.

Ramirez told the Ambassador last year that he was introduced to Rugby when he was 11 years old and he has continued to play the sport for the national team under the mentorship of several Kiwi coaches. 

New Zealand helps to promote rugby in the Philippines. Several Kiwis are active in the Philippine Rugby Football Union. Among the members of the Philippine Rugby Football Union is Kiwi Steve Payne.  The current co-coach of the Philippines Volcanos is Frano Botica a former All Black, along with David Johnston.

Ambassador David Strachan is shown with members of the PRFU board, the Te Kaha rugby team and Philippines Volcanoes.
“Rugby is a huge part of New Zealand culture. We are delighted to see how much rugby has grown in the Philippines,” added Strachan.  “In sports-loving countries such as the Philippines and New Zealand, our relations are further strengthened by sports. This was also highlighted by the Tall Blacks, who visited in Manila last year.”

The friendly match is part of a series of activities conducted during the visit of Her Majesty’s Royal New Zealand Navy Ship HMNZS Te Kaha from April 4 to 7 in Manila. 

Topics: New Zealand Navy Rugby team , Philippine Volcanoes
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