U20 | Warm Up fixtures & Partnership with WPR Academy


As part of their preparation process for the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017, which takes place in Georgia (Tbilisi and Kutaisi), Junior Lelos will hold three warm up matches against Western Province Rugby Academy in Tbilisi.


With three fixtures scheduled on April 29th, May 3rd and 6th, the Academy side of South African Super Rugby franchise will tour Georgia from April 27 to May 7th. As Georgian U20 team is going to face Argentina, France and South Africa at the group stage, the games against Western Province Academy will be quite beneficial for Junior Lelos.



7 years old friendship


The relations between Georgian Rugby and Western Province started 7 years ago, when in 2009 a memorandum of understanding was signed between these organizations with the great effort from Honorary Consul of Georgia in South Africa, Mr Gerald Wolman and Mr George Nijaradze, President of GRU at that time. This friendship and relations are going on with continues efforts and involvement from Georgia’s Ambassador to RSA, Mr. Beka Dvali and Head of South Africa-Georgian Chamber of Comers, Mr Marius Heyns.


“6 talented Georgian players were sent to South Africa in 2009 in accordance to the memorandum, two of witch – Merab Sharikadze and Lasha Lomidze are now playing for The Lelos first team and both participated in RWC 2015. The great performance from these players underlines the importance of relations with Western Province academy. Beka Dvali, the ambassador of Georgia to South Africa played a great role in bringing the relations back to track along with Marius Hayns and now the first results are tangible” said the CEO Lasha Khurtsidze of Georgian Rugby Union, when commenting on Georgian SA relations.


Young Georgian players for SA academies


Western Province academy operations director and head coach Troy Lee along with South African businessmen and head of West Coast academy in Cape Town, Ivan Van Zyl visited Georgia in early December to discuss above warm up matches for U20 Lelos and possibilities for young, 18-21 years old Georgian Rugby players to attend Western Province and West Coast academies programs in South Africa for three months.


“Well, I know that Georgia have some serious strives in their rugby, they take their rugby very seriously; South Africa takes rugby very seriously, and it just seems like they’re like us. We look forward to bring over a competitive team to play against Georgia Under 20 in late April-early May, to facilitate some warm-up fixtures and get the host country ready for the Under 20 World Championship and, secondly to have some young Georgian players to the Western Province Rugby Academy for three months, looking at August-September-October.


“The luxury of the Western Province Rugby Academy and the nature of South Africa, is that we have access to a lot of past players whom we turn into very good coaches, so we try to work 3-to-1 principle, i.e. 3 specific coaches per position, but we have access to that, they are not permanently employed at the Academy, they are our consultants. We have taken boys 17 (that’s very rare), but generally 18 and all the way to 21, but 17 happens if a player is very special” Said Troy Lee


Lasha Khurtsidze: “Our South African counterparts were peaty pleased with the facility of our academy and national high performance center, never the less their methodology and high qualification of South African specialists is and will be very beneficial for Georgian Rugby. We also plan and want to include Georgian Sevens into Western Province program, but for now preparations for U20 is our main priority. Gladly we have already agreed to have warm up matches in late April ad May”

Georgian time


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