U20 | Final Training Camp



Junior Lelos started their final preparations camp at Shevardeni ahead of the World Ruby Under 20 Championship to take place in Argentina on June 4-22 2019.


There are 38 players in the extended squad; several Under 18 players as well, who recently won Rugby Europe Championship, were added to the squad. Iago Khabuliani, who won Zimbabwe Sevens a couple of weeks ago also joined the team. Players will train in Shevardeni from Monday to Friday with days off on Saturday and Sunday; the training camp will finish on May 21, and on May 25 the team will leave for Argentina.


At this stage, six overseas players – Giorgi Akhaladze, Gia Kharaishvili, Zaur Tevdorashvili, Luka Chelidze, Luka Azariashvili and Vano Karkadze will join the team on May 20.


South Africa Tour


In early April Junior Lelos toured South Africa, where they played against South Africa and Argentina U20 teams as well as Namibia XV, which was composed of senior players.


Team coach Zurab Amonashvili says that this tour was an indispensable project which helped reveal the team’s weak points and set goals for these last three weeks:


“This tour was really necessary, it showed us once again our strengths and the areas to work on. Game speed was high, and we played under the same kind of pressure we will face in Argentina. We saw where we had problems at such pace and these three weeks were planned considering these issues.”


“Namibia was a very good team, in which there were some players likely to play at Rugby World Cup in Japan. Namibia Head Coach attended the tournament to observe the players and this boosted their motivation. In spite of this, we managed to win against Namibia, though there were some issues with this match as well. The loss against Argentina was disappointing, but the main thing was that we learned a lot from past games. Besides, players got some international experience, which is highly important”. 


At the current 3-week training camp, the coaches will replicate the kind of pressure which players are likely to experience at the Championship in Argentina. Initially, the largest focus will be S&C, which will be gradually replaced by tactical elements: 


“Training sessions were planned based on analysis of three warm-up games. We artificially create the pace and pressure which the team will face in-game. During the South-African tour, the top performance was not our goal. The main thing is to achieve the best possible shape at the end of the three weeks. Now the players are actively trained by our Strength&Conditioning group, we have some serious training going on; further on, more and more time will be dedicated to tactical and technical training. We work a lot on the individual and team defence, kicking, etc. Besides, several players are recovering after minor injuries.“ – says Amonashvili and adds that the squad to go to Argentina has not been finalized yet, and all players have equal chances, including the Under 18s who joined the team very recently:


“These boys stood out at the Rugby Europe U18 championship and we are happy to have them on board. Their presence increased competition and added some quality to training sessions because due to large numbers we now can divide players into two full teams. The players whose performance is the best will be the ones to eventually go to Argentina”.


Keep fighting until the final whistle


Team captain Tedo Abzhandadze joined the Junior Lelos before the South-African tour. Until then, he had played seven tests for the senior Lelos. Abzhandadze strained his leg muscles during the match against Argentina, but now he feels well and gets ready to train at full capacity starting with next week:


“I strained a muscle and had to do some recovery. Now I am ok, I gradually increase the workload at training and will be able to perform at full capacity next week.”


Tedo is contended with the matches played in South Africa and promises the fans to keep fighting until the final whistle in every game:


“This year’s training camp in South Africa was as good as the previous one. It helped us enhance our performance and I hope it will be the same this year. We played against two very strong junior teams and a senior team from Namibia. The players acquired some experience and know what lies ahead. The second game showed some improved teamwork, we sorted our functions and got on better together, I look forward to getting better at it during the next three weeks.”


“We are going to play every game tough until the final whistle and have no intention of giving up on anything. We are mentally, physically and tactically ready and I hope this will translate into the score. We will try to improve the last year’s results, though our main goal is still the same – to stay among the strongest. I cannot say anything much about our opponents, because in junior teams’ players change too frequently and nothing can be predicted. We know what kind of a team South Africa is and I assure you, we will not give in to them.”


In Argentina, at pool stage, our team will play against New Zealand on June 4, against South Africa on June 8 and against Scotland on June 12.


Extended training squad


Gegi Murusidze (Armazi, 1), Luka Nioradze (Jiqi, 2), Saba Kuratashvili (Armazi, 2), Giorgi Menabde (Batumi, 2), Vladimer Chachanidze (Lelo, 4-5), David Gvidiani (Armazi, 4-5), Luka Gelashvili (Armia, 4-5), Vakhtang Jincharadze (Jiqi, 4-5), Tato Gvimradze (Khvamli, 4-5), Koba Kolotauri (Lelo, 6-7), Beka Koriauli (Lelo, 6-7), Paata Burchuladze (Kharebi, 6-7), Mikheil Chachava (Jiqi, 6-7), Saba Jgarkava (Lelo, 6-7), Giorgi Nodia (Kochebi, 6-7), Ioane Iashagashvili (Armazi, 6, 7, 8), Ioseb Gusharashvili (Kochebi, 6, 7, 8)



Mikheil Alania (Armazi, 9), Giorgi Margalitadze (Lelo, 9), Luka Mantkava (Armazi, 9), Pridon Tsiklauri (Khvamli, 9), Iago Khabuliani Aia, 9), Tedo Abzhandadze (Aia, 10), Revaz Kharazishvili (Junkers, 10), Sandro Margiani (Academia, 10), Givi Tsintsadze (Armazi, 10), Lasha Lomidze (Aia, 12), Irakli Simsive (Aia, 12-13), Demur Tapladze (Lelo, 13-14), Zaur Lutidze (Khvamli, 13), Zura Kavtaradze (Kharebi, 11-14), Otar Lashkhi (Lelo, 11-14), Kote Marjanishvili (Armazi, 11-14), Temur Kokhodze (Aia, 11-14), Giorgi Mikanadze (Academia, 15), Teimuraz Chichinadze (Jiqi, 11-15), David Gobejishvili (Aia, 10-15), Dachi Papunashvili (Armia, 10-15), 


Players to join the team on May 20

Giorgi Akhaladze (Massy, 1), Gia Kharaishvili (Racing92, 1), Zaur Tevdorashvili (Angouleme, 3), Luka Chelidze (Toulon, 1), Luka Azariashvili (Montpellier, 3), Vano Karkadze (Aurillac, 2)





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