New President of Georgia Rugby Union


© Gogita Bukhaidze


On January 24, Georgia Rugby Union held its General Assembly, where the full GRU members elected their new President. There were two candidates – Gocha Svanidze and Ilia Zedginidze. Elections were attended by 37 full members with 68 votes, which distributed 35 against 32 in favor of Gocha Svanidze who became President of Georgia Rugby Union.


“The margin between the votes was so tight that one can say nobody got defeated in these elections. I think that the Georgian rugby community faced a difficult choice. I offered Ilia cooperation before elections and I am still willing to cooperate in the future. We can collaborate with everyone, especially with Ilia“ – said Gocha Svanidze after the assembly.


Before the beginning of actual elections, George Nijaradze reported on the 8-year period of his GRU presidency.


Thereafter, the election candidates spoke about their future plans and programmes once again, and then the voting began. As we already said, 35 votes were for Gocha Svanidze, 32 – for Ilia Zedginidze, and one bulletin invalidated.


© Gogita Bukhaidze


“I wish success to Gocha Svanidze. We have very difficult 4 years ahead, the whole rugby community agrees with this, and our new President needs support from everyone. I and my team will continue working for Georgian rugby. The future will show whether we have been successful or not.” – said Ilia Zedginidze.


© Gogita Bukhaidze


After the assembly George Nizharadze answered the questions of media:


“Elections were held in a tense atmosphere, as any other Assembly. I congratulate Gocha with victory and also congratulate Ilia, who is certainly a person Georgian rugby should not lose. They set an example for everyone, for which I thank both of them. My gratitude also to our supporters and the journalists for each day we went through together.


 “Georgian rugby did not start with me, and does not stop now that I am no longer a rugby executive. The same goes for Ilia and Gocha. The success of rugby depends on our unity. Gocha and his team will decide whether or not I will be involved in international relations, and it is up to the public to assess the work I did for the GRU. To the new president I would advise that he work hard day and night. There are too many problems to be solved and the new administrative team needs to decide how this will be done.


 “The one thing I can tell you right now is that I will never take on any official position in GRU on principle. If they decide to give me a status enabling me to represent Georgia in international federations, then it will be my pleasure to work because there still is a lot of work to do.”


After the presidential elections, the new President nominated Board members and the assembly voted to approve the choice.


As it stands now, members of the GRU Board are:

Levan Vasadze, Giorgi Gorgaslidze, Zurab Zoidze, Gocha Svanidze, Batu Kevlishvili, Dimitri Kalandadze, Aleksandre Khvedelidze, Sergo Ramishvili, Davit Kilasonia, Giorgi Gegenava, Giorgi Ghlonti, Gocha Machavariani, Gaioz Moniava, Aleksandre Grigalava, Erekle Tripolski.



Gocha Svanidze – New President of Georgia Rugby Union


Born 30/01/1963

1999-2000 Institute of Law in Tbilisi – Lawyer.
1991-1994 Tbilisi State University – Jurisprudent
1979-1984 The Polytechnic Institute of Georgia – Machine Engineer
1969-1979 Tbilisi Public School 140

Rugby Career:
1993 RC Tbilisi
1992 RC Amirani 
1988-1991 RC Mimino - GRU Championship 1st league
1987 RC Medical University–Champion of Georgia
1987 RC Locomotive– Top League of USSR Cgampionship
1985 RC Medical University– Vice-champion of Georgia 
1984 RC Shevardeni–Vice-champion of USSR Rugby Championship Among Juniors

1981 RC Medical University


Professional Activities:

  • 2004 –2016 Georgian Rugby Union Chairman of Board
  • World Cup 2015 –The Head of Georgian Delegation
  • U18 Europe Championship 2015 - The Head of Georgian Delegation
  • U19 Europe Championship 2010 - The Head of Georgian Delegation
  • 1994- to present – Lawyer


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