“Lelos” final squad to be named until 11 July


Georgian national rugby team starts preparations for the World Cup to be held in New Zealand. Head coach Richie Dixon already announced a 46-man provisional squad, out of whom 30 players will gather in Tbilisi on July 4th to train under the supervision of Australian strength and conditioning coach Gareth Adamson.
According to Richie Dixon, “intensity of the game has risen sharply in rugby – only the strongest teams are participating in the world cup and strength and conditioning is of great importance to them. So our team has to be in the best shape in September”.
Following the Tbilisi training camp – which is aimed at strengthening physical condition – Georgian rugby players will enjoy more playtime in France, where the emphasis will be given to “working with the ball”. Sparring are scheduled against “Aurillac” and “Bourgoin” for this very reason.

Significantly, at the end of his stay in France, Richie Dixon will name 30 of those players who will travel to New Zealand on 4 September.

In the last decade, Georgia participates in the rugby World Cup for the third consecutive time. ‘Lelos’ – as they are known internationally – came into prominence and attracted rugby elite’s attention at the 2007 World Cup, during the match with Ireland. In this full-of-surprises match, Ireland, which was among the world top ten national teams, although beat Lelos but it was not an easy win. The match ended with Ireland’s insignificant advantage, 14:10. Strikingly, neutral fans supporting Ireland in the beginning, switched to cheer for Georgia at the end of the match.

The 2011 World Cup will involve 20 teams divided in five groups. ‘Lelos’ – placed in group B – will first meet Scotland, then England, Romania, and Argentina.

“Our goal is to make as good a start as possible in the first match against Scotland” –Richie Dixon says. “I am confident that the team will do its best to represent Georgia. I must note that the coaching staff has already started compiling dossiers on our rivals. England, Scotland and Argentina have planned several test matches in August in UK. This gives us a possibility to observe our rivals and study their game by attending those matches. However we can expect the same from our opponents.

Georgian team will arrive in New Zealand on 5 September to attend a training camp in Queenstown until 11 September. From 11 to 15 September they will stay in Invercargill, where the match against Scotland is scheduled. Later, Georgians will travel to Dunedin to play with England on 18 September. From 19 to 26 September ‘Lelos” will undertake training in Masterton, before they leave for the final destination, Palmerston North, to have matches with Romania on 28 September and Argentina on 2 October.

“In June, at the Nations Cup held in Bucharest, the coaches had three goals” – says Dixon – “to test newcomers, to gain victory – along with rating points – against Namibia, and to have another look at already established players. I am happy that all the goals were achieved. Many of the veterans will leave the national teams after the World Cup, but I think there are some worthy replacements in the team. I believe the Georgian rugby will make a huge progress in the following years, from 2011 to 2015.”
Georgian time


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