Georgia

Published on: September 17, 2015

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World Ranking: 16Flag_of_Georgia.svg

Odds of Winning: 2000/1

Road to Qualification: Finishing top of European Nations Cup Division 1A, and qualifying in the Europe 1 spot.

Recent Results:

Georgia 10 – 13 Japan

Canada 16 – 15 Georgia

Newcastle 27 – 7 Georgia

Georgia 12 – 45 Emerging Ireland

Georgia 10 – 26 Emerging Italy

Georgia 19 – 10 Uruguay


World Cup Pool Games:

Date Time Team v Team Stadium
Saturday, 19 September 15 Tonga v Georgia Kingsholm, Gloucester
Friday, 25 September 15 Argentina v Georgia Kingsholm, Gloucester
Friday, 2 October 15 New Zealand v Georgia Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wednesday, 7 October 15 Namibia v Georgia Sandy Park, Exeter

Strengths:

  • Big powerful forwards
  • Strong scrum

Weaknesses:

  • Not as much quality in the backline
  • Fitness levels an issue, especially in warmup game vs. Newcastle

Key Players:

Mamuka Gorgodze

Nicknamed “Godzilla”, the backrower is Georgia’s most well-known player. He originally played basketball, but that wasn’t manly enough for him so swapped to playing rugby at age 17. The Toulon man has had a few injury problems this year, but will be hoping to put that behind him going into the World Cup.

Davit Zirakashvili

The Clermont prop is a key component of the Georgian team and scrum, and he will be looking to build on his spectacular season last year with the French side.

Mikheil Nariashvili

And on the otherside of the scrum we have the Montpellier man, Nariashvili. An experienced prop at the young age (in prop terms at least!) of 25, he will be looking to have a big impact for Georgia in the World Cup.


Injuries/Unlucky to miss out:

Zurab Zhavania (Prop)
Giorgi Talakhadze (Centre)
Irakli Svanidze (Fullback)
Dimitri Basilaia (Backrow)
Vasil Kakovini (Prop)


Squad:

Props:
Kakha Asieshvili (Brive)
Levan Chilachava (Toulon)
Davit Kubriashvili (Stade Français)
Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier)
Davit Zirakashvili (Clermont)

Hookers:
Jaba Bregvadze (Kochebi Bolnisi)
Shalva Mamukashvili (Sale Sharks)
Simon Maisuradze (La Voulte-Valence)

Second Row:
Giorgi Chkhaidze (Lille)
Levan Datunashvili (Aurillac)
Konstantin Mikautadze (Toulon)
Giorgi Nemsadze (Tarbes)

Flankers:
Mamuka Gorgodze (Toulon)
Viktor Kolelishvili (Clermont)
Shalva Sutiashvili (Massy)
Giorgi Tkhilaishvili (Batumi)

Number 8:
Lasha Lomidze (Béziers Hérault)

Scrum Halves:
Giorgi Begadze (Kochebi Bolnisi)
Vazha Khutsishvili (Rustavi Kharebi)
Vasil Lobzhanidze (Armazi Tbilisi)

Fly Halves:
Lasha Khmaladze (Lelo Saracens)
Lasha Malaghuradze (Stade Bagnérais)

Centres:
Davit Kacharava (Yenisey-STM)
Merab Sharikadze (Aurillac)
Tamaz Mchedldze (Agen)

Wingers:
Giorgi Aptsiauri (AIA Kutaisi)
Muraz Giorgadze (Armazi Tbilisi)
Giorgi Pruidze (AIA Kutaisi)
Alexander Todua (Lelo Saracens)

Fullbacks:
Merab Kvirikashvili (Montluçon)
Beka Tsiklauri (Locomotive Tbilisi)


Likely Starting XV:


Summary:

The best European team outside of the 6 nations. They’ve won 25 of their last 26 games in the European Nations Cup; yet recent games against Emerging Ireland and Italy sides showed that Georgia still have someway to go to be competitive against the top teams.

Georgia are known for their big bruising forwards, and if they are to come away with a victory then they will need the forwards on song. A majority of their forwards ply their trade in the French leagues, with several of them playing for Top14 teams; whilst most of their backline plays back in the Georgia.

They will be targeting the games against Tonga and Namibia as the most winnable, and to try and aim for finishing 3rd place, with it the prize of automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The set-piece is Georgia’s biggest strength – and they will be targeting scrums and lineouts of teams at the World Cup.

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