Milton Haig named The Lelos’ training squad for RWC 2015

29-Jun-2015

With 81 days left until the Rugby World’s largest spectacle kicks off in England, Georgian Lelos engaged into the final round of World Cup preparations. Georgian coaching staff gathered the training squad at Shevardeni High Performance Base in Tbilisi for phase one camp which will last for three weeks.

 

Upon completion of World Rugby Tbilisi Cup 2015 on June 21, players involved in the tournament had a chance to take a week off before the final preparations for the year’s most important event would start.  Speaking of Tbilisi Cup, the Georgian Coaching Staff said they monitored the tournament carefully as it was considered one of the valuable chances for the World Cup training squad finalization.

 

“What we were looking for during Tbilisi Cup was to identify the last ten percent of the training squad.  In that regard tournament was just a spot on: we finalized the training squad and also decided who would come next in case of injuries.  We sort of got to the stage, where we think there are some people who are next in line for that. The tournament answered some good questions” - Said Milton Haig.

 

He continues: “In the end we are really happy, as some young guys came up though Tbilisi Cup really well and it shows that strength of Georgian Rugby is really in our future. Tournament also allowed some players to put hand out – for instance Saba Shubitidze, who obviously is a good player and will make to the training squad, purely based on his performance during Tbilisi Cup.”

 

At home for the first three weeks

 

The first stage of preparation will be a three-week period mostly based on Strength & Conditioning, during which Haig promises the players will go to the places they have never been before with the assistance of Georgian S&C coaches: former England Fitness Coach Calvin Morriss, Scott Crean and Irakli Chkonia.

 

“For this period of time we will have predominantly tough Strength & Conditioning based sessions with some rugby skills as well. The S&C group consisting of Calvin Morriss, Scott Crean and Irakli Chkonia will take boys into places where they have not been before.  It will be more body and mind. It’s going to be good. It’s great when you work with somebody like Calvin – he has been to three World Cups, he has prepared English team twice, once becoming the World Champion in 2003. So, we are pretty excited having him on board obviously.  

 

“We will have a week off after the first three weeks. Everybody will get a chance to stay with their family and have some rest – to refresh mentally rather than physically. They will have some things to do like go swimming, walk and ride bike, but there will be rugby environment around. We want them completely refreshed. “

 

Cryotheraphy in Poland

 

After the first leg is completed, the team will travel to Poland, where coaching staff will continue fitness oriented sessions with added benefit: the use of special Cryonic chambers enabling players to come back to shape much faster – “We will have another three weeks program with 9 days in Tbilisi and 10 days in Poland.  This next phase will still be fitness orientated, with some rugby.  The technical side does not really take over until we get to UK for our final stage of preparations. When in Poland, team will continue with S&C and use Cryo facility.

“It is our first experience but certainly it is very important. Many S&C people who did it before strongly recommend this. What it allows is to train with 110% potential next day after using this chamber. Without this you get a drop in intensity, but by using Cryo therapy you are able to train with full potential daily.”

 

By the end of the second stage preparations the Lelos will come back to Georgia for another week off, before they head to UK on August 24 for the last stage of World Cup preparations. “

 

Tradition and Perception

 

With the main core of World Cup training squad already shaped in coaching staff’s minds it was the Tbilisi Cup that gave final touches to it. According to Milton Haig, Georgian side selected for England 2015 will be the most prepared one in Georgia’s RWC history, because before we had to fill the spots, and now there are number of players available for each position.

 

“We’ve got a core of back players, who obviously are very experienced sportsmen – David Kacharava and Merab Kvirikashvili (he is on his 4th World Cup); also players like Lasha Khmaladze who has up to 40 caps and Sandro Todua with his 48 caps. Then there we have players with mid-range experience with 20 some caps and some young but very promising guys who have not got more than 5 international appearances – it is a really nice blend for us. We will also be having a young scrum half Vasil Lobzhanidze who turns 19 in October. He is going to be the youngest player ever to compete in World Cup. These young players bring the enthusiasm and the energy to our training camp.

 

“Let’s say the rugby world considers Georgia to be more forward oriented - which is a tradition and perception and traditions have to be pushed away sometimes. If you’d watched Georgia over last few years (some people watch quite close abroad), you’d already say that there are significant improvements in our backs’ play. And to be honest, when I first came to Georgia, in order to challenge Tier One nations, these improvements had to happen. It has been our plan for the last 3.5 years, but this is a continuing process, because we still have long way to go. We have got some good backs, but we still need to be better at what we do. Now if you look at our tries, we score them 50% from backs play and another 50% from forwards. That obviously is an indicator of improvement.”

 

More experienced Forwards

 

“Our forwards pack probably is a more experienced side of the training squad. There are some experienced players throughout all three rows. It is the strength that is crucial to have as in a long run we can always revert to our forward based power game and vary with backs pace game if we need to. That’s something we have been trying to achieve. We are not still there, where we need to be and still have a lot to do.”

 

Besides the Georgian core forwards, who are very well recognized worldwide, there are some newcomers, who have gone through U-grades and caught selectors’ eyes – “These players have done very well through Tbilisi Cup, especially young Beka GorgadzeOtar Giorgadze and Saba Shubitidze. We also want to include a couple of young promising players outside of training squad just to give them experience of what a World Cup preparation process is. There is no doubt that if we don’t need them as injury replacement, this experience will be very valuable for Japan 2019 – let’s give them experience now, so they can bank it,” said Milton Haig.

 

Lelos Training squad for pre-2015 RWC camp

 

No

Names

Club

b

caps

career totals

 

Backs

 

15

Merab KVIRIKASHVILI

Montluçon [FRA Fed1]

1983

84

12t 108c 119p 3d [642 pts] 3sb

15

Beka TSIKLAURI

Lokomotivi Tbilisi [GEO]

1989 20

2t 11c 15p 2d [83 pts]

15

Giorgi APTSIAURI

Aia Kitaisi [GEO]

1994

8

-

15

Irakli SVANIDZE

Jiki Gori [GEO]

1996 1

-

14/11

Sandro TODUA

Lelo Saracens Tbilisi [GEO]

1987

48

5t 2sb

14/12

Tamaz MTCHEDLIDZE

Agen [FRA Pro D2]

1993

29

4t

14/11

Muraz GIORGADZE

Armazi Tbilisi [GEO]

1994 6

t

14/11

Giorgi PRUIDZE

Aia Kitaisi [GEO]

1994 3

-

13/12

Davit KATCHARAVA

Enisey Krasnoyarsk [RUS]

1985

81

17t [4 capt] sb

13/12

Merab SHARIKADZE

Aurillac [FRA Pro D2]

1993

34

7t [1 capt]

13/10

Giorgi TALAKHADZE

Lelo Saracens Tbilisi [GEO]

1994 2

-

10

Lasha MALAGHURADZE

Bagneres [FRA Fed1]

1986

56

327c 22p 3d [144 pts] 2sb

10

Lasha KHMALADZE

Lelo Saracens Tbilisi [GEO]

1988

38

5t 4c [33 pts]

9

Giorgi BEGADZE

Qochebi Bolnisi [GEO]

1986

34

2sb

9

Vazha KHUTSISHVILI

Kharebi Rustavi [GEO]

1993

19

-

9

Vasil LOBZHANIDZE

Armazi Tbilisi [GEO]

1996

5

-

 

Forwards

 

1

Mikheil NARIASHVILI

Montpellier [FRA Top 14]

1990

26

sb

1

Vasil KAKOVIN

Toulouse [FRA Top 14]

1989

24

sb

1/2

Zurab ZHVANIA

Stade Française [FRA Top 14]

1991

19

7t 2sb

1

Kakha ASIESHVILI

Brive [FRA Top 14]

1987 10

t

2

Simon MAISURADZE

Valence [FRA Fed1]

1986

32

sb

2

Shalva MAMUKASHVILI

Sale Sharks [ENG Prem]

1990

29

3t

2

Jaba BREGVADZE

Qochebi Bolnisi [GEO]

1987 27

t

3

Davit ZIRAKASHVILI

Clermont [FRA Top 14]

1983

48

 9t [1 capt] 3sb

3

Dudu KUBRIASHVILI

Stade Française [FRA Top 14]

1986

39

2t rc sb

3

Levan CHILACHAVA

Toulon [FRA Top 14]

1991

23

3t

3/1

Anton PEIKRISHVILI

Brive [FRA Top 14]

1987

15

t sb

4/8

Giorgi CHKHAIDZE

Lille [FRA Fed1]

1981

83

10t [1 capt] 6sb

4/5

Giorgi NEMSADZE

Tarbes [FRA Pro D2]

1984

49

9t 3sb

4/5

Kote MIKAUTADZE

Toulon [FRA Top 14]

1991

34

2t 2sb

4/5

Vakhtang MAISURADZE

Albi [FRA Pro D2]

1987

24

2t

4/5

Otar GIORGADZE

Aia Kitaisi [GEO]

1996 2

t

7/8

Mamuka GORGODZE

Toulon [FRA Top 14]

1984

59

 24t [2 capt] 4sb

6/7

Shalva SUTIASHVILI

Massy [FRA Pro D2]

1984

48

 t [7 capt] 3sb

6/7

Vito KOLELISHVILI

Clermont [FRA Top 14]

1989

31

3t [1 capt2rc 4sb

6/7

Giorgi TKHILAISHVILI

Batumi [GEO]

1991

20

sb

6/7

Saba SHUBITIDZE

Akademia Tbilisi [GEO]

1994 3

-

6/7

Beka GORGADZE

Mont de Marsan [FRA Pro D2]

1996 2

sb

8

Dimitri BASILAIA

Perpignan [FRA Pro D2]

1985

38

6t sb

8

Beka BITSADZE

Lokomotivi Tbilisi [GEO]

1991

15

3t

8

Lasha LOMIDZE

Beziers [FRA Pro D2]

1992

12

2t sb

 

28/06 @ 19.40

 

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