30 Jan 2015

Sport: Cabra Nines a valuable stepping stone for emerging teams

2:51 pm on 30 January 2015

Philippines Rugby League founder Clayton Watene says the Cabramatta Nines is a chance for the emerging countries to grow the game.

The event was first held in 2003 and this year will feature 32 teams from five continents, and the Pacific.

The Philippines first entered a team in 2012, alongside Vanuatu, with the two nations forging a relationship that culminated in a full test match between the countries in October.

Clayton Watene says forming links with other nations at a similar point has been great for their development.

"We first started off with one team. We were struggling at one stage there to get a full side out there on the paddock. Look when Vanuatu first started they were quite successful in their first hit out. They went to the championship final and we went to the bowl championship so for two minnow teams to come into the competition to do successful is pretty good. The following year we ended up putting three sides in and the now this is our second year of having four sides in the competition".

Clayton Watene says the Philippines top side is aiming to go all the way this weekend after being beaten in last year's grand final.