Singapore and the Philippines face each other in two matches that will determine the ARC Division I champions this week.
On 23 and 26 June, the two sides will go head-to-head to take the coveted title.
Ranked just two places ahead of the Philippines (56th), Singapore (54th) travel to Manila for the two matches with one eye on seeing the hard work pay off according to captain Gaspar Tan.
“It has been a good lead up to the tournament, most of the team are from last year’s campaign and we have managed to retain the same management team, with the addition of former England 7s international John Brake as our backs coach,” said Tan.
“We obviously are here to compete and win. It is a shame that the tournament has only two teams this year, but we are focused on our own jobs to perform on the field and the ambition is to cement our place in Division 1 for this year.”
Rugby is also on an upward curve in Singapore, with the Singapore Sevens taking centre stage each year, and the recent Asia Rugby Women’s Championship drawing in the crowds.
“Rugby is definitely growing in Singapore with more and more junior rugby clubs coming up, and also more participation at the junior and school level,” added Tan.
“The Singapore Rugby Union is working hard at developing the women’s game as well – hosting the recent Women’s ARC Division 1 and overall we are placed to grow, both as a participation and spectator sport. The latter especially with the HSBC World 7s series on our doorstep.”
And what would it mean to win the tournament for Tan?
“It would be a tremendous honour for the team, and for Singapore Rugby. We have worked hard as a group.
“With the support from the Union we are best placed to do our best and we want to play to the best of the abilities. If we win it would mean we are back in the top division and we intend to stay here.
“Rugby has given us all a lot and it has personally developed my life skills and given me the ability to lead and work within a team – it is a great love affair for me.”