RWC 2011 Team Preview: Georgia

Georgia Huddle

Rugby World Cup Pedigree:
Currently ranked 14th in the IRB World Rankings, Georgia only qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2003, then again in 2007 and again this year. Despite being a passionate and dedicated team, they have never yet made it out of the pool stages.

Best Rugby World Cup moment:
Is also, incidentally, their biggest RWC win. In the pool stages of the 2007 World Cup in France, they scored their first ever win, beating Namibia 30-0.

Biggest Rugby World Cup win: Georgia 30 – 0 Namibia, 26th September 2007, in Lens

Biggest Rugby World Cup defeat: England 84 – 6 Georgia, 12th October 2003, in Perth

Key player: Malkhaz Urjukashvili
One of the most experienced players in the squad, with 67 caps for his team, Urjukashvili is also one of the highest scorers. He plays at full back or on the wing. His playing career has seen him play in France for Toulouse, RC Nîmes, and US Tours, so expect a lot of French style expansive play and darts down the wing from this man. He has featured in Georgia’s squad for the past two World Cups and will no doubt be a big part of the 2011 squad after playing a big part in their qualifying campaign.

One to watch: Davit Kubriashvili
The 6ft 1in, 252lb prop currently plays at Toulon, and has already earned noticed for his impressive facial hair, as well as the strength and power in his game. At 25 years old, he has played for his country 17 times, and will no doubt be relishing the opportunities this competition presents. As a prop, Kubriashvili will be using his power and weight to full advantage in the scrums, which will no doubt be closely scrutinized by many. The danger comes from the fact that although bulky, he has pace, so like his teammate Urjukashvili we should be seeing those quirks of play that are typical of the French game.

Rugby World Cup Fixtures:
14th Sept 08:30: Scotland – Georgia in Invercargill
18th Sept 07:00: England – Georgia in Dunedin
28th Sept 08:30: Georgia – Romania in Palmerston North
2nd Oct 02:00: Argentina – Georgia in Palmerston North

Key clash:
Given the calibre of the pool group I feel that the clash against Romania will be the key one. Unfortunately it will be the battle to avoid last place

1000/1 to win outright, and 500/1 to win the pool. Odds provided by

Coach says:
“We’re very pleased to have reached another World Cup. In 2007 the Georgians performed very well, they had that very close match against Ireland and also had their first win in the competition…In New Zealand we’d like to target the one win that they had in 2007 and then the big dream is to win another match as well.”
– Tim Lane, as told to Total Rugby Radio

In a pool that contains England, Scotland and Argentina; Georgia will be knocked out in the pool stages once again

Written by Christine Lester

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