After last week, we all need it.
Oliver, Matt and Ben Saunders are members of the Philippine men’s rugby team. Their mom is from Pangasinan, their dad is British, they were born in the UK or the US and raised in Australia where they live to this day. They’ve been coming to the Philippines since early childhood to visit their grandmother, and have toured the islands on their own.
Matt and Oliver have been on the national team since 2007; Ben, 17, joined them more recently. The three brothers were on the men’s 15’s team which won the Asian Division 2 championships in June, which we covered here.
Ben was captain of the under-20s Philippine rugby team which won the Junior Asian Division 2 championship in Vientiane, Laos two weeks ago. Clean sweep: they beat India 38–7, Kazakhstan 22–10, Laos 52–0 and Iran 12–8. The juniors have now won seven international matches in a row.
Earlier the newly-formed Philippine ladies’ rugby team won the Asian Rugby Ladies championship in Guangzhou, China by defeating India, Korea, Laos and Malaysia. It was their first appearance at an international tournament and they did not concede a single point.
On Saturday and Sunday the Philippine men’s 7’s rugby team is competing at the Shanghai Sevens featuring the top 12 teams in Asia. Matt and Oliver are on the team, which is the newest in the tournament and probably the most petite in a field of rampaging behemoths.
The Saunders brothers are all in Collezione C2 shirts. These photos were taken by their dad at their home in Sydney.
For more of our rugby coverage, go to Categories on the left and click Rugby.
* * * * *
For our readers in Shanghai who would like to watch the matches of the Philippine rugby 7’s team, here’s their schedule:
Saturday, 4 Sept 2010. 8am – 5pm: Preliminary Round Pool C matches.
China v Philippines
Hong Kong v Philippines
Philippines v Sri Lanka
Sunday, 5 Sept 2010. 8am – 5pm: Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Medal matches.
The games will be held at Shanghai Rugby Football Club (near Zhouhai Road Metro Station). Tickets cost RMB70 for the Saturday matches, RMB100 for Sunday. More information here.