Emerging Georgia to open summer international season


2015 is full of various test matches and friendly internationals. World Cup is ahead, but before that, on June 13, 17 and 21 - the annual World Rugby Tbilisi Cup is scheduled to take place at Avchala Rugby Stadium.

The tournament is considered as one of the preparatory stages for World Cup and this time, Georgian national side will play against Uruguay, Emerging Ireland and Emerging Italy.


Emerging Georgia with Summer Season’s kick off ahead to Tbilisi Cup 2015

Same as last year, when played against England Counties XV, Emerging Georgia will open the summer international season a with two match encounter against Crawshay’s WRU XV. Both games will take place at Rustavi Rugby Stadium on June 3 and 6, where the first fixture will kick off at 7 pm and the second one – at 6 pm.


“Traditionally, Emerging Georgia will open the summer season with two matches, ahead to Annual Tbilisi Cup. This is another great opportunity to check our nearest reserve. Crawshay’s XV is a quite strong side. Practically, it represents the selection of Principality Premiership and obviously, the opposition will be very powerful, which is very beneficial for us. I am sure that we will have two very interesting fixtures next week in Rustavi.” Said George Nijaradze, Georgian Rugby Union President. “As Tbilisi stadiums are busy with preparations for Tbilisi Cup, we decided to have these fixtures at Rustavi Rugby Stadium, so the local fans and those from Tbilisi will have a chance two witness some good quality rugby there.”


The Opposition

Crawshay’s XV is a Welsh Invitational team, which was established in 1922 by Captain Geoffrey Crawshay. Since then, the team is touring across the World. On its first tour to Georgia, the team will consist of players from Welsh principality premiership and of couple from English clubs. According to the Welsh Rugby Union, this tour is considered as a good opportunity to strengthen the connections between Georgia and Wales.

WRU president Dennis Gethin said, "Georgia is a proud, rugby playing nation and alongside supporting the Welsh Government’s objectives, we see it part of our remit to play and travel to countries outside of the Tier One nations in order to support the development of rugby. We are pleased to be working with Crawshay's in order to fulfill this commitment and we are now very much looking forward to the challenge of the matches”.


The WRU has linked up with Crawshay’s in order to fulfil this commitment and the side will be coached by former Carmarthen Quins head coach Louie Tonkin. Pontypridd’s Gavin Dacey will captain the outfit and also coach the backs while Bedwas back row player Deri Mattravers will be player/ coach of the forwards.

Tonkin said, “These Georgian international team will be incredibly competitive, especially up front and we must front up to that challenge. We have a strong unit of our own with a large contingent from Premiership finalists Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale and other experienced forwards.

“However we were determined to get a good balance in our squad in order to remain faithful to the Crawshay’s philosophy of playing some open, running rugby, and we have some strong runners in our Pontypridd centres Gavin Dacey and Dafydd Lockyer, along with some exciting youngsters such as Llanelli’s Justin James and Neath’s Tom James.

“It will be a tough ask with a 26 man squad and two games in four days, but it’s a huge honour for all the players and management and we are determined to give a good account of ourselves. “


Crawshay's WRU President’s XV squad:

Backs: Gavin Dacey Pontypridd (Captain ), Geraint O'Driscoll (Newport), Jamie Davies (Neath), Elliot Frewen (Newport), Patrick Tapley (Bedford Blues),  Llywarch Ap Myrddin (Newport), Dafydd Lockyer (Pontypridd), Matthew Jacobs (Llandovery), David Langdon (Ebbw Vale), Kieran Meek (Newbridge), Tom James (Neath), Justin James (Llanelli)

Forwards: Lewis Smout (Cardiff), John Lavender (Ebbw Vale), Richard Wilkes (Bedwas), Huw Dowden (Pontypridd), Ross Davies (Doncaster Knights), Kieron Jenkins (Pontypridd), Damien Hudd (Ebbw Vale), Adam Brown (Newport), Ashley Sweet (Ebbw Vale), Dan Godfrey (Pontypridd), Deri Mattravers (Bedwas), Shaun Miles (Llandovery), Edward Siggery (Moseley), Rhys Shellard (Pontypridd).


Emerging Georgia Assembled for camp

On May 27, Emerging Georgia assembled for preparation camp for 2 match-series and will train on Shevardeni Rugby Base and Matkopi Stadium. The head coach, Levan Maisashvili called for 7 U20 players, who just returned from World Rugby U20s Trophy as winners. Georgian International Jaba Bregvadze will be joining the squad, who has been recovering from injury for more than a year, Vazha Khutsishvili, Givi Berishvili and Irakli Mirtskhulava will also play against Wales.


Levan Maisashvili, head coach of Emerging Georgia: “I am excited that my team will play against Crawshay’s. As you know, the team represents the Principality Premiership of Wales, so, the opposition side is quite Strong. In 2012, when as Georgia ‘A’ we defeated the same kind of selection in Wales and I’m sure that Welsh will do their best to win these series now.


“It’s very important for us to reveal more players and extend the national team’s selection list. This is the main purpose of the Emerging Georgia and of the series as well.”


“Besides, more and more Georgian players from national premiership will have a chance to get international experience at home. Although Emerging Georgia has U25 age limit, we have couple of elder players and I want to underline that everybody will have a chance to perform.“


Emerging Georgia Squad:

Backs: Irakli Svanodze (Gori Jiki), Ioseb Kikvadze (AIA), Levan Gogolashvili (Bolnisi Kochebi), Anzor Sichinava (RC Academia), Giorgi Pruidze (AIA), Giorgi Talakhadze (Lelos Saracens), Badri Liparteliani (RC Armazi), Rezi JInchvelashviil (AIA), Mamuka Ninidze (Gori Jiki), Vazha Khutsishvili (RC Kharebi), Sandro Mindiashvili (Lelo Saracens)


Forwards: Zurab Julakidze (Lelo Saracens), Archil Bezhiashvili (RC Locomotive), Nikoloz Khatiashvili (Aurillac, FRA), Irakli Mirtskhulava (Tarbes, FRA), Jaba Bregvadze (Bolnisi Kochebi), Badri Alkhazishvili (Lelos Saracens), Nodar Cheishvili (La Seyne, FRA), Sandro Koiava (Lelos Saracens), Otar Giorgadze (AIA), Dachi Kopadze (lelo Saracens), Guram Shengelia (Gori Jiki), Mikheil Gachechiladze (Carqueiranne, FRA), Vakhtang Amiranashvili (Armazi), Givi Berishvili (RC Locomotive).


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