Georgia's performance against New Zealand reignites ‘Seven Nations’ debate

03-Oct-2015

By Andrew Hendry www.rugbyworldcup.com

 

CARDIFF, 2 Oct – At first glance New Zealand's 43-10 victory over Georgia in Cardiff on Friday night seems like a runaway win. But in the 74th minute it was a slightly different story, with Georgia trailing the world champions 29-10 - a comfortable but hardly devastating lead for the reigning world champions against a tier-two nation.

At the post-match media conference the question of whether the Six Nations tournament should be expanded to include Georgia was once again posed to Lelos coach Milton Haig.

 

“It’s certainly something that I’ve been speaking publicly about every opportunity I get," Haig said.

 

"Something like that is absolutely crucial for our development, because in the long run if we are consistently a competitive national side, that’s the kind of competition we need to be in.”

Haig cited Argentina’s progression following its inclusion in the Rugby Championship, where they now play against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

 

“You can see how far their team has come along. We’d love that opportunity,” Haig said.

 

“We understand it's a very difficult decision for the six partners to make, but I think it would grow the game globally and it would open up a big market in eastern Europe."

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was also asked after the Georgia game whether he thinks tier-two nations should have the opportunity to play more games against tier-one teams.

 

“We’ve seen through this tournament, compared to other tournaments that I’ve played in, that the so-called ‘easy’ games aren’t easy any more,” he said.

 

“The whole standard of rugby you’ve seen in this tournament is lifted. You see teams that are capable of putting pressure on the so-called top teams, and I think everyone is excited to see that.”

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