New Zealand gave Philippine rugby a huge boost after sending in club team Mangatainoka Barbarians to help reinforce their support for the sport's growth in the country.
An exhibition match was played between the Mangatainoka Barbarians and their Filipino counterparts at the International School Manila in Taguig.
Aside from treating fans to some quality rugby, New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan passed over a check for P800,000 to the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU).
The financial aid was in support of the PRFU project “Rugby for All”, which aims to offer equal opportunities to youth and increase participation in sport.
The grant will help provide rugby training, clinics and festivals in Negros Occidental and will be implemented in 60 schools and provide equal opportunity for boys and girls to participate in organized sport.
An added highlight to the evening was a haka performed by the visiting team.
It was the first time for many fans to witness the ancient Māori war dance traditionally performed by New Zealand teams in tournaments around the world.
“Whenever someone thinks of New Zealand, rugby and the All Blacks come to mind. We are delighted to share this passion with young Filipinos with the help of the Philippine Rugby Football Union. It is an honour for New Zealand to support the development of rugby in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Strachan.
‘Rugby —A Sport for All’ is PRFU’s contribution to the Asia 1 Million Project initiative of Asia Rugby, to kick start the growth of the sport across the region.
The Mangatainoka Barbarians will be hosting various clinics for the public, children, local club teams and opportunities to meet the players and participate in event around the Philippines. The team will head to Clark, Pampanga on 8 August for a Rugby Open Day.
From there, they will fly to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to participate in the third Annual Palawan Rugby Festival.