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Four teams are set to take part in the inaugural Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) national championship as Rugby League continues to make inroads in the country.

The competition, set to kick off in the third quarter of 2016, will see the Central Luzon Crusaders, Albay Vulcans, Manila Storm and the University of Batangas Toro go head to head to determine who will be the inaugural premiers of the Philippines.

Previously known as the Indang Rebels, the Central Luzon Crusaders will be one of two teams with strong University associations taking part in the competition.

Drawing players from the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) and Cavite State University, the Crusaders, just like the University of Batangas Toro, will enjoy the advantage of being able to draw upon the large Papua New Guinean community currently going to University in the Philippines when they take part in the domestic competition.

Already a significant number of players from both the Toro and Crusaders have taken part in the annual PNG Independence Day Rugby League competitions that have taken part in the past three years.

The other two cubs, the Storm and Vulcans have already battled each other once in recent times with the two sides facing each other at the Bicol University Grounds in late December.

That day the Storm emerged 36 – 14 victors, and with the Storm also enjoying the experience of taking on the touring Hong Kong Residents XIII in 2015,.

Venues and dates for the inaugural competition will be released by the Philippines National Rugby League in coming months.