Tbilisi Cup winners meet Hosts in final round



© Tamuna Kulumbegashvili

Emerging Ireland and RWC qualifiers, Georgia, meet in the final round of the Tbilisi Cup tomorrow evening with much to play for, for both teams.


The Irish, on 10 points, won the Tbilisi Cup on Wednesday evening thanks to their bonus point win against Uruguay and Georgia's surprising defeat at the hands of Emerging Italy. 


However, Allen Clarke's side cannot afford to be complacent, especially with news that Irish National coach, Joe Schmidt, will be in the stands watching the game. Clarke alluded to the fact that their could be positions available in the Ireland Rugby World Cup training squad and that the Tbilisi Cup gives players the opportunity to boost their chances of gaining selection.  


They will be without tour Captain Rhys Ruddock who has flown home following an arm injury picked up in the win against Uruguay. Second row Billy Holland will captain the side in Ruddock's absence. 


Head Coach, Allen Clarke said nothing changes for his side ahead of the match with Georgia, regardless of the fact the tournament is already won. "We have spoken as a group about how meaningful this match is and how important it is for us to perform well as a group and, through that team performance, what rewards there could be for individuals. We have picked a squad we believe is strong enough to do the job and we'll use our bench again because of the conditions." 


Turning his attention to Rhys Ruddock's arm injury Clarke added: "It is unbelievably unfortunate for Rhys as person and as a rugby player. It's a loss for him and it's a loss for Irish rugby, but it's a short term loss, he is a young man. He has kept in touch with us since he's been home which tells you a lot about him as a person. He'll come back and we all wish him a speedy recovery."  


Georgia will be looking to make amends for Wednesday evening's performance with an improved display against the Irish. Milton Haig will be selecting his training squad for the World Cup in a week's time so tomorrow evening's encounter presents a chance for fringe players to to put their case forward. 


The Lelos will be without fly half Lasha Malagaradze who has injured his quad and he has been replaced by Mamuka Ninidze who has been brought in from outside the initial 27 man squad. 


Commenting on his sides selection Milton Haig said his players still have plenty to play for: "It is not the game we were hoping  for it to be at the start of the tournament, but it is what it is. I have challenged the players to make sure that tomorrow they remember that they are playing at home, we want to finish the tournament well and we are playing against the best team that is here. So it is a big challenge for the group to prove in front of home supporters that we are a good side, a better side than what we showed against Italy. The squad trained well yesterday and are motivated by the challenge that has been laid done to get the result." 


Emerging Italy head into round three buoyed off the back of their 26-10 defeat of Georgia. The Italians put in a clinical display, particularly in the second half to emerge victorious. 


Emerging Italy Manager, Andrea Duodo, said his side will take great confidence from Wednesday's game into the match with Uruguay. "The players were happy with result and want to build on that performance against Uruguay. We have young players who are enjoying their rugby and that is what we want them to continue to do. Uruguay are a good team and have played well in their games so far. They are physical, like the Georgians, so we have prepared for that." 


Uruguay head into the contest with two defeats to their name looking to finish the tournament strongly as they continue their 2015 RWC preparations. The South American's Head Coach, Pablo Lemoine is asking his side to play their best match of the tournament against Emerging Italy. 


He said: "We want to play our best game of rugby tomorrow and work hard for each other. Concentration and discipline are the key elements we are looking for. They were missing in the first half against Ireland and it cost us the game. Italy play a fast paced game and have strong forward pack. We need to be aggressive in defence from the start to stop them."


Round three - Sunday 21st June


Uruguay vs. Emerging Italy 17 00


Georgia vs. Emerging Ireland 19 00




15. Gaston Mieres; 14. Leandro Leivas; 13. Joaquin Prada; 12. Alberto Roman; 11. Santiago Gibernau; 10. Alejo Duran; 9. Agustin Ormaechea; 1. Alejo Duran; 2. Nicolas Klappenbach; 3. Carlos Arboleya; 4. Santiago Vilaseca (Captain); 5. Jorge Zerbino; 6. Juan Manuel Gaminara; 7. Matias Beer; 8. Alejandro Nieto 


Replacements: 16. Mario Sagario; 17. Mateo Sanguinetti; 18. Agustin Alonso; 19. Franco Lamanna; 20. Diego Magno; 21. Fernando Bascou; 22. Manuel Blengio; 23. Andres Vilaseca



Emerging Italy


15. Alberto Chiesa (Captain); 14. Filippo Guarducci; 13. Giovanni Benvenuti; 12. Roberto Quartaroli; 11. Gabriele Di Giulio; 10. Carlo Canna; 9. Simone Marinaro; 1. Federico Zani; 2. Simone Marinaro; 3. Pietro Ceccarelli; 4. Federico Ruzza; 5. Alessio Zdrilich; 6. Sebastian Negri; 7. Emiliano Caffini; 8. Maxime Mbanda'


Replacements: 16. Luca Bigi; 17. Laert Naka; 18. Giuseppe Di Stefano; 19. Filippo Gerosa; 20.  Matteo Corrazi; 21. Simone Parisotto; 22. Giovanni Massaro; 23. Christhian Becerra


Referee: Marius Van der Westhuizen (SA)





15. Beka Tsiklauri, 14. Alexandre Khutsishvili, 13. Revaz Gigauri, 12. Tamaz Mchedlidze, 11. Giorgi Pruidze, 10. Mamuka Ninidze, 9. Giorgi Begadze; 1. Zurab Zhvania, 2. Simon Maisuradze, 3. Anton Peikrishvili, 4. Levan Datunashvili (Captain), 5. Konstantine Mikautadze, 6. Beka Bitsadze, 7. Giorgi Chkhaidze, 8. Lasha Lomidze


Replacements:16. Jaba Bregvadze, 17. Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18. Irakli Mirtskhulava, 19. Otar Giorgadze, 20. Saba Shubititdze, 21. Vazha Khutsishvili, 22. Irakli Svanidze, 23. Giorgi Aptsiauri



Emerging Ireland


15. Tiernan O'Halloran; 14. Andrew Conway; 13. Stuart McCloskey; 12. Noel Reid; 11. Matt Healy; 10. JJ Hanrahan; 9. Luke McGrath; 1. James Cronin; 2. Robert Herring; 3. Stephen Archer; 4. Ben Marshall; 5. Billy Holland (Captain); 6.  Eoghan Masterson; 7. Dan Leavy; 8. Jack Conan


Replacements: 16. Dave Heffernan; 17. Denis Buckley; 18. Finlay Bealham; 19. Andrew Browne; 20. Frank Taggart; 21. John Cooney; 22. Eoin Griffin; 23. Peter Nelson


Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FR)


A day  before Tbilisi Cup final round teams hold their Captains' Runs



Georgian time


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