Georgian duo set for fourth World Cup



Merab Kvirikashvili and George Chkhaidze are set to appear at their fourth Rugby World Cup after being named in Georgia’s RWC 2015 training squad.


With 167 caps between them, goal-kicking full-back Merab Kvirikashvili – Georgia’s record points scorer with 644 points - and second-row George Chkhaidze are the two most experienced members of a 41-man squad that gathered at the Shevardeni High Performance Base in Tbilisi on Monday for the start of a three-week training camp.


Fifteen other players with 30 caps or more are named by coach Milton Haig, who has not been afraid to promote youth either.


Four of Georgia’s triumphant World Rugby U20 Trophy 2015-winning squad are rewarded for their performances in Portugal, while Saba Shubitidze warrants an inclusion following his fine displays in the World Rugby Tbilisi Cup earlier this month.


Scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze, not yet 19, could become the youngest player in Rugby World Cup history if he makes Haig’s final squad cut and plays at the tournament in England. The others from that U20 Trophy winning side are second-row Otar Giorgadze, number eight Beka Gorgadze and full-back Irakli Svanidze.


Twenty-three players in Georgia’s squad are based in France – 11 of them, all forwards, play for Top 14 clubs.


The rest of the squad is domestic-based with the exception of hooker Shalva Mamukashvili, of English Premiership side Sale Sharks, and centre Davit Katcharava, who plays for Siberian outfit Krasnoyarsk.


Georgian time


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