Sri Lanka v Philippines in Manilla (WCQ Asia Nations Div.1)
The Philippines has had an amazing rise in Asian test rugby. In Division 5 back in 2006 they have gradually worked their way up to Division 1 in 2011. They fell to eventual winners, Korea, who were promoted to the Asian elite division for this season. My feeling is that the time is right for the Philippines to progress.
They have a very healthy junior rugby programme whilst their senior side is able to call up Australian Pilipino who ply their trade in some hefty divisions in Australian club rugby.
Sri Lanka has been dogged by internal difficulties within their union and by a number of leader players not making themselves available for national selection.
The odds would appear against them but I’m putting my money of the Philippines to win and gain promotion.
These two teams have never met in a rugby test match.
v Chinese Taipei W 36-8
v Singapore W 35-10
v Singapore W 37-20
v Chinese Taipei W 34-12
GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Sri Lanka 5th, Philippines 7th
IRB Ranking Points
Sri Lanka 48.02, Philippines 41.90
Prediction: Philippines by 3 points
Teams as yet not available