The Asia Rugby Women’s Championship Division I starts this weekend, with India, Singapore and the Philippines all competing in the historic event.
Ahead of the first match between hosts Singapore and India, Asia Rugby spoke with one of the Philippines’ many debutants Isabella Nepomuceno as her side wait to play both sides on 5 and 8 June.
Q: How have you been preparing for the upcoming tournament?
A: “We have been training hard, going to gym sessions, working on our strengths and watching a lot of videos including on scrum techniques and other bits of research.”
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the tournament?
A: “We are hoping for two wins, but personally good games, like the type where you feel you know you did well and everything you are trying to work on shows up.”
Q: What would it mean to win the tournament?
A: “To win would mean so much especially to me as I am so new. I never expected I would be a part of this eight or nine months ago, but for the women’s team in general it would be super big to show that the sport is growing and people are really in to it. The talent is here and it just needs a bit more development and support to keep growing.”
Q: How is rugby growing in the Philippines?
A: “Rugby is growing in our country for sure, it is one of those things that is slowly but surely. It is starting to pick up and I think that give it a few more years it will be huge. The beauty of rugby, the thing I love the most, is that it is for everyone regardless of size. It is inclusive and a community so it’s attractive from all angles.”
Q: What does rugby mean to you personally?
A: “Rugby is like a safe space, my escape, where you can focus on one thing and don’t need to worry about work or other problems, it is just rugby like one step at a time.”