U20 | Junior Lelos squad for Argentina 2019



Junior Lelos’ coaching staff named the 28-man squad for World Rugby U20 Championship 2019, in Argentina on June 4-22 2019.


This is the fourth consecutive U20 Championship for Junior Lelos. First two years they won one game per tournament – fourth match in both cases (18:17 against Italy in 2016 and 26:25 against Argentina in 2017), and last year their record increased to 3 matches in a single tournament (24:20 against Ireland, 24:22 against Japan and 39:31 against Scotland), which brought them the 9thposition – the highest they achieved at World Rugby Under 20 Championship yet.


This year Georgia is set to play in Pool C, against New Zealand, South Africa, and Scotland; pool stage rankings will decide for which position the Junior Lelos will compete in the playoffs. The minimum goal remains the same: to retain position among the top 12 teams, though the young players will attempt to improve their last year’s results.


6 foreign-based and 22 local players


There are 15 forwards and 13 backs selected in the squad for Argentina. The 6 front-rowers are foreign-based. In the front row, there is only one Georgia-based player - hooker Luka Nioradze of R.C. Jiki. 


The most – 5 players – were contributed by R.C. Lelo (Tbilisi), 4 came from R.C. Armazi (Marneuli), 3 from R.C. Jiki and R.C. Aia, 2 from R.C. Armia and R.C. Kharebi; R.C. Khvamli, Kochebi and Academia contributed 1 player each. Two players from the selected squad have the senior test rugby experience: team captain, fly-half, Tedo Abzhandadze (This will be the third consecutive appearance for Tedo in U20 Championship) and hooker Vano Karkadze.


Team head coach Ilia Maisuradze says that the team will battle until the very last minute in all the games and makes the following comment on squad composition:


“Unfortunately, we lack several players due to injuries, and Giorgi Akhaladze is suspended. Also, we do not have rather tall jumpers, and this will limit our performance in the lineout, but on the other hand, we should be strong in contact areas and open play; Definitely will not be an easy bite for anyone. We will battle until the very last minute in every game.”


The Junior Lelos are set to depart to Argentina on May 25, and they will play their first match against New Zealand in Santa Fe on June 4, at 20:00 Georgia time. Then they move to Rosario to play against South Africa on June 8 and against Scotland on June 12 (both matches kick off at 17:30 Georgia time). Tournament semifinals are scheduled on June 17 and the finals – on June 22.



Georgian Squad for World Rugby Under 20 Championship 2019




Nika Ghvaladze (Grenoble, Fra, 1), Luka Chelidze (Toulon, Fra, 1), Vano Karkadze (Aurillac, Fra, 2), Luka Nioradze (Jiki, Geo, 2), Gia Kharaishvili (Racing 92, Fra, 1-3), Zaur Tevdorashvili (Angouleme, Fra, 3), Luka Azariashvili (Montpellier, Fra, 3), Luka Gelashvili (Armyia, Geo 4-5), Vakhtang Jincharadze (Jiki, Fra, 4-5), Tato Gvimradze (Khvamli, Geo, 4-5), Paata Burchuladze (Kharebi, Geo, 6-7), Beka Koriauli (Lelo, Geo, 6-7), Koba Kolotauri (Lelo, Geo, 6-7), Ioseb Gusharashvili (Kochebi, Geo, 6-7-8), Ioane Iashagashvili (Armazi, Geo, 6-7-8). 



Mikheil Alania (Armazi, Geo, 9), Giorgi Margalitadze (Lelo, Geo, 9), Tedo Abzhandadze (Aia, Geo, 10), Sandro Margiani (Academia, Geo, 10), Lasha Lomidze (Aia, Geo, 12), Irakli Simsive (Aia, Geo, 12-13), Givi Tsintsadze (Armazi, Geo, 10-12), Demur Tapladze (Lelo, Geo, 13-14), Otar Lashkhi (Lelo, Geo, 11-14), Zura Kavtaradze (Kharebi, Geo, 11-14), Kote Marjanishvili (Armazi, Geo, 11-14), Dachi Papunashvili (Armia, Geo, 10-15), Temur Chichinadze (Jiki, Geo, 11-15). 


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