Amateur Rugby at International Level


Amateur Rugby at International Level

At 13:30 on October 30 “Devebi” (Ogres) will play against Moscow Dragons in the Central Stadium of Gori. The match is special in that both teams represent amateur rugby. Since 1995, when rugby went professional, amateur side of this sport has been developing as a world apart, maintaining numerous traditions, stories and experiences and, in the first place, serving to integrate people, for whom rugby is a modus vivendi.

In a couple of words about the Georgian and Russian amateur teams playing on October 30:

Moscow Dragons was established by Brian McHale to unite Moscow-based expatriates and Russian rugby amateurs. During more than 10 years of its existence Moscow Dragons have played at Moscow Rugby Championship and Cup, international amateur rugby Capitals Cup (systematic participation since 1998, won the Cup in 2000, 2003 and 2005), friendly matches in different countries.

Hosting club – “Devebi” (Ogres) was founded in May 2006 by Irakli Khundadze and Levan Goshadze (finishing their playing careers in other rugby clubs) and successfully integrated numerous amateur sportsmen with and without previous rugby and/or sports experience. At different times, “Devebi” was coached by Georgian national 7’s coach Kakha Alania, Guram Modebadze, former national team coach Malkhaz Cheishvili and technical director of the Georgian Rugby Union George Tchumburidze.

Considering that there are no other amateur rugby clubs in Georgia (apart from Devebi, amateur rugby in our country is represented by semi-professional TBC), Devebi have to play against professionals: they compete in the First Division of Georgian Championship. For the future, the club hopes to establish a youth rugby school and organize annual amateur rugby tournaments with participation of regional teams, including Moscow Dragons, Ukrainian Orcs, Turk Ottomans and rugby enthusiasts from Azerbaijan.

A noteworthy fact is that the managing board of Moscow Dragons includes Georgian national David Dgebuadze, who used to play in “Locomotive”. Besides, one of the Dragons’ founders Petr Pertsov lived in Tbilisi in the 1970’ies and played for Georgian Technical University team. However, in spite of these ties, Devebi vs Dragons game was arranged at random: earlier this year, David Dgebuadze happened to attend European Sevens Rugby Championship Final in Moscow, met former Devebi coach Kakha Alania there and expressed a wish to visit Tbilisi. And this is how two clubs started to negotiate the match.

General sponsor of “Devebi” vs Moscow Dragons match is VTB Bank, sponsors: Caravan Café and Natakhtari Brewery, supporter: Georgian Rugby Union. Information support is provided by radio stations “Abkhazetis Khma” and “Radio Palitra”.


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