This year’s Asia Rugby Women’s Division I will be hosted by the Philippines.
Having seen their men’s side lift the Division I title in Chinese Taipei on Saturday, the mood in camp will be buoyant, and a home tournament for the women will continue the momentum.
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The Philippines will face India in their semi-final with the winner going on to meet either Singapore or China in the final.
Having hosted the men’s competition in 2018, Philippines General Manager Jake Letts spoke about the importance of hosting a women’s competition 12 months later.
“For us it is all about gender equity, we want to be able to provide the same opportunity for the women’s team as the men’s,” said Letts, who was on hand to see the men’s side beat Singapore 29-21 in the final of Division I.
“Obviously over the last decade the men’s have had a massive impact on the sport in the Philippines.
“But that’s not to say the women haven’t also, they played in the SEA Games in 2015 and won bronze, and ever since then their programme has been building.
“A lot of it is more local development, simply because of the engagement they are tracking with Philippine Rugby.
“They see the success of the men’s team and that is also having a big impact on all of our teams.”
Letts is also confident that fans will witness a competitive tournament with the ‘level of talent very equal’.
“What you’ll see around Asia with some of the developing nations is that the level of talent and competition is very equal.
“It’s great to see our women there. With India, Singapore and China, it’s going to be a really good experience for them.
“We hosted the men’s tournament last year, so this year we wanted to host the women’s so they get a turn at playing in front of a home crowd.”