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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Georgia RWC team guide
A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Georgia for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Fixtures (Pool D):

  • v Argentina - 11 September, 1900 BST, Lyon
  • v Ireland - 15 September, 2000 BST, Bordeaux
  • v Namibia - 26 September, 1700 BST, Lens
  • v France - 30 September, 1400 BST, Marseille

    Recent form: Qualified by beating Portugal and have since racked up wins against Romania, the Czech Republic, Russia and Namibia, although there was a defeat to Spain.

    Coach: Malkhaz Tcheishvili, although in some quarters the 'T' is dropped. The 48-year-old has been in the post four years and boasts a winning record. A former scrum-half, he picked up some twinkle-toed footwork during his schooling at the Georgia National Dance studios.

    Captain: Lock Ilia Zedginidze has struggled with injuries this year and was even appointed team manager for the Nations Cup when he was out. The 30-year-old, who has a degree in foreign diplomacy, was very much a peripheral figure for French club Auch as well last season.

    World Cup pedigree: Did not win a game in their only tournament to date four years ago.

    World Cup high: Hard to pick, but they did score a try in 2003 and improved in each match, losing by 78 points to England, 37 to Samoa, 27 to South Africa and 12 to Uruguay.

    World Cup low: There was a real feeling of disappointment that that improvement did not peak in time for a win against fellow minnows Uruguay. Coming just four days after the South Africa game they had nothing in the tank.

    World Cup legend: Step forward David Dadunashvili. Who? He was the fella who scored their only try to date in the World Cup. It came against South Africa and he went over from a yard or two, although in the bars of Tbilisi the hooker probably has it from halfway after a few pots.

    Present star: Fly-half Paliko Jimsheladze has been on the international scene since 1995 when he made his debut as a 19-year-old. He is Georgia's most-capped player and is the man who makes them tick.

    Maverick: They have only selected one "specialist" hooker, so Clermont Auvergne's utility front-rower Goderdzi Shvelidze could be pressed into action in the number two shirt.

    Enforcer: Rati Urushadze has something to prove. The flanker, who is looking for a new club, missed the 2003 tournament through injury and his defensive organisation and hits should help stem the tide against the bigger boys.

    Strengths: Simple. Their strength is their strength, with a bulging front row who have all worked at the coal face with some of France's better clubs.

    Weaknesses: Ignoring the issue of ability, there is a lack of experience across the team, particularly in the backs.

    Did you know? There are only eight rugby pitches in Georgia, so no wonder 26 of the squad - the same number as the tournament hosts - are based in France.

    World Cup base: St Jean d'Ardieres (from 5 September)

    They say: Not much at all. These Georgians are a brooding, silent bunch.

    You say: "They're nothing special." wibbley91 on 606

    World ranking: 17

    Odds: 1000/1

    Our verdict: It is all about one game. Namibia in Lens on Wednesday 26 September. Having beaten the Africans once this year they will be confident of coming out on top.

    Ranking and odds correct at 26 August. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • SEE ALSO
    Rugby union positions guide
    05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment
    Country profile: Georgia
    04 Mar 07 |  Country profiles


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