Junior Lelos Sum up Warm up series



The long and tiresome 8 months long period of preparations for World Rugby U20 Championship are nearly finished. After the team competed against South African Western Province Academy side in 3 match series, Junior Lelos will now take 9 days ahead to final camp. Whilst the coaching staff will need to finalize those 28 players who will put on Georgia jersey from May 31 to June 18.


8 months of preparations

Junior Lelos’ road to the World Rugby U20 Championship started 8 months ago. It was in September 2016 when Ilia Maisuradze, Lado Kilasonia and Zura Amonashvili assembled the team to kick off long and tiresome preparations.


At first boys went through already traditional – mental strength course followed by three matches in Early November. Junior Lelos Development side played against RC Kharebi of Georgian Premiership League one before leaving for successful British Tour, where Georgia U20 played against Ulster Rugby U20s and Scotland Development side.


Mutually beneficial tests against Western Province

Meanwhile Georgian Rugby Union was looking for strong opposition side for Junior Lelos, that’s when Western Province Rugby Union and Georgian Rugby renewed their memorandum and planned three match series of WP Academy in Georgia to play against U20 Georgia in Tbilisi.


Games were scheduled for April 29, May 3 and 6. All three matches served Junior Lelos magnificent benefit of having game practice at home with three-four weeks to the tournament. As for coaches they were able to see and rate the “candidates’” skills and reaction while under pressure.


8 tries in match one

Georgia U20 managed to keep the ball, gained huge advantage in set piece and scored 4 tries in each half to finish the game one with final score of 55:17. Although Western Province fought back with two really skillful and fast tries.


“I was excepting the boys to have struggled getting into system as it had been only ten days after we brought rugby into camp as we had long strength and conditioning camp before. I felt that forwards and backs were playing apart from each other and we will need to balance this. We have identified errors in ruck and lineouts and more importantly in defense. But its ok, as these games are meant to identify and eliminate the week spots in our game” said Ilia Maisuradze.


With different line up

Coaches decided to change 11 players for the match two to check the depth of positions in the team. As expected the game was tenser, during which single try brought Junior Lelos 11:6 victory.


“I was disappointed with the quality of the game. We lacked concentration and were less organized in rucks, which nearly caused our system collapsing. We also did not manage to defend well, missed quite some tackles and lacked discipline.” Said Zura Amonashvili after the game.


Even without scrum

As scrum and set piece was obviously the strong side of Georgian team, the coaching staff decided to drop that ace for the game three. Obviously the reason for that was to identify the week spots the team would have in open game. As it turned out scrumming is not our only advantage as boys managed to score 10 tries to win the final match of the series 64:19. Both backs and forwards equally scored 5-5 tries.


“The series obviously were very beneficial as we gained priceless experience right ahead of the tournament. Certainly game three was most outstanding, as we decided to have uncontested scrums and found out that open game is our strong side as well. Well, never the less the scrum stays as our number one weapon of choice” said Lado Kilasonia.


Team Captain Ilia Spanderashvili is happy with the quality of the game and considers that team is in good shape for the tournament:


“We performed as a whole team and I am sure we will be in perfect shape for the tournament. Although we had some errors even in game three, over all the quality of the game was far better than before. We will use the remaining period for improvements before the Championship starts”

Georgian time


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