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Albay, C. Luzon, Manila lead in Rugby League Tourney


BY ERIK ELEFANTE – RUGBY LEAGUE teams Albay, Central Luzon, and Manila remain front liners in the first Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) event in the opening months of January and February in the Philippines.

The Inaugural local Rugby League competition in the Philippines, the Erick Paul Estepa Elefante Cup is in its final rounds in January with the Albay Vulcans, Central Luzon Crusaders and Manila Storm in contention to reach the local tournaments first Grand Final!

On January 28 after missing the 2016 tournament the PNRL return to the Cabramatta International 9s with a host of new and veteran players, with TWO International teams, coached by Mark de Ubago, with over half a dozen coming from New Zealand to represent their country of birth or heritage:

Cabramatta 9s, Jan 28, 2017 SQUAD

NZ Miri Mafeking Brown, NZ Jake Cruz, NZ Odyssey Laderas, NZ Carmilo Manuyag, NZ Jerry Nicodemus, NZ John Nicodemus, NZ Josh Nicodemus, NZ Rene Reitveld, Michael Capati, Jeromy Cairns, Jason Christie, Kim de Leon, Michael Dalton, Patrick Dixon, Leslie Downie, Johnny Grant, Eddie Haas, Titi Lamese, James Lochhead, Richard Mante, Patrick Manansala, Shane Mathews, Malcom Nelson, Reynaldo Penalosa, Darryl Ponce, Johno Reyes, Quai Lee Sending-Ritson, Ted Smith, James Willoughby and Rupert Zappia

Cabramatta 9s, Jan 28, 2017 RESERVES

Jason Bedford, Jesse Brown, Adam Clarke, Konrad Ilolahia and Braydon Walsh


The PNRL are inviting the Filipino-Australian community to come and support your International Rugby League players on the 28th of January at the Cabramatta Rugby League Club, 24 Sussex St, Cabramatta with games starting at 9:30am.

The week after the Cabramatta International 9s on the 4th of February, the PNRL will be making history by playing its first TEST match against the Malta Rugby League. All previous games, played by the PNRL Tamaraws, were International matches. The Test against Malta will be a first for the PNRL.

The 4th of February will also be historical because it will be the first time that all 4 of the PNRL’s representative teams will appear together. With our U17 Juniors the future of the Philippines Rugby League with the locally based players, our International/Test Reserves in the Admiral team also making an appearance.

And proudly representing Filipina Womanhood the PERLAS the PNRL International Women’s team. Which is Coached/Managed/Captained by Tammy Fletcher who is not just making history by leading the Philippines first national Women’s team, she also plays for the St George Dragons Women’s team. So is multitasking to break all stereotypes and boundaries regarding Filipinas.

“With the rise in numbers of women playing Rugby League and identifying those of Filipino heritage, the PNRL has presented Pinays an opportunity to represent their country on the field, in a history making appearance, in a curtain raiser match ahead of the Philippine Tamaraws test match on 4th February 2017,” Tammy Fletcher said.

The newly formed Philippine Perlas (Pearls) will create history in their debut appearance in a 9’s match against Latin Heat’s Women’s side.

‘I’ve always dreamed of being able to represent my heritage and country in the game I am so passionate about and in less than a months’ time, my dreams will come true when I am able to run out onto the field in my nations colours in the first ever formed Philippines National Women’s Rugby League team.’

‘Hopefully with the exposure of our women’s debut appearance, we can create a strong pathway for more Pinay rugby league players to represent their country and grow into a equally competitive side, competing alongside our fellow men’s sides.’

‘Personally, I cannot be more humbled with being given this opportunity. I hope to encourage more Filipina women to play rugby league. We have amazing support from the PNRL board backing our Women’s team every step of the way and we aim to do them proud as well as our fellow country men and women.”

Tammy would welcome more support from the Pinay-Australian community especially Pinay-heritage Rugby League, Union, OZ tag and Touch players, as she builds the PERLAS side, to represent the Philippines in the Greatest game of all. Tammy can be contacted on the PNRL Facebook page!

The PNRL Juniors Under-17 team coached by Jason Carter and managed by Roer Jimenez, will be playing the U17 Maltese heritage team at 4:15pm. Team members are Kobe Jimenez, Louis Sollano-Antonio, Jonah Jimenez, Manania Cairns, Joshua Scales, Patrick Hill, Tyrone Gacita-O’Leary, Clayton Ramirez, Thomas Cartwright, C J Villamel, Jonathan De Leon, Jack Mes, Miguel O’Neil, Jaylen Prat, Ian Nelson, Russell Nelson, Alex Ybannes, Brandon Param, Chad Overton, Rafael Resuello and Antonio Keedle-Grandeza.

The PNRL Admirals team coached by Michael Godfrey will be playing the Mediterranean Rugby League: Kevin Casinay, John Nicodemus, Josh Nicodemus, Darrin Henry, Michael Mason, Jake Cruz, Jericho Nicodemus, Odyssey Laderas, Ryan Jones, Reynaldo Penalosa, Marcus Quising, Carmilo Manuyang, Amante Decena, Marique Brown, Pat Dixon, Josh Anderson, Mark Harrison and Bruce Renton

PNRL National Head Coach Arwin Marcus was excited to name the 20 man squad to play Malta in our maiden Test match:Test Team Squad: Richard Goodwin, Dennis Gordan, Will Grooms, Jeremy Grooms, Micha Hines, Elvis Jensen, Dylan Jones, Ricky Kucia, Blake Mackey, James Marcus, Glenn Powers, Rez Phillips (c), Harold Snell, Luke Srama (c), Ned Stephenson, Trent Swanson, Steven Tolo, Tyrone Tootell, Gerald Tulud and Kieren Wiggins

Coach Marcus said, “The fourteen players were backing up again from last International against Serbia. Unfortunately we have missing our 2 experienced halves in Paul Sheedy and Mark Russell who both had to withdraw through injuries at club training. Which gives opportunities for our younger players. James Marcus will shift to 7 whilst Kieren Wiggins will debut and partner him in the 6. Players we will look to lead us are our co captains Luke Srama and Rez Phillips and others Harold Snell, Dennis Gordan, James Marcus and Blake Mackey.” The test match main game is due to start at 7:30pm!

The PNRL are inviting the Filipino-Australian community to come and support your Perlas, U17 Juniors, Admirals and Tamaraws on the 4th of February at the Cabramatta Rugby League Club!