TBC Rugby Series | The Lelos’ Squad v Southern Kings



Tomorrow, at 19:15, the Lelos will host South African Pro 14 franchise ‘Southern Kings’at their first pre-RWC TBC Series warm-up match in Mikheil Meskhi Stadium.


We encountered this team’s antecedent in 2011 at IRB Nation Cup and South African Kings won 31:17. In two years Southern Kings entered Super Rugby and in 2017, after revision of tournament format, continued to play in Pro 14 along with the teams like Leinster, Munster, Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors.


This year, the Kings paid their first-ever visit to Georgia in order to replace Russia in the Lelos’ warm-up fixture scheduled for August 27. This warm-up is part of preparation for Rugby World Cup and test-match against Scotland, whom the Lelos are going to host on August 31 in Dinamo Arena. Before Japan, our team will arrange the third warm-up match against Scotland in Murrayfield, Edinburgh, on September 6.


Squad for Series match one


As the match is preparatory, the teams agreed to play with 26-man squads. As a result, the coaches will be able to observe more players, which is crucially important for this stage. 


Haig decided to have young front-row forwards in the start-up squad: hooker is 19-year-old Vano Karkadze, who debuted for the Lelos during this year’s Rugby Europe Championship, and the props are Guram Gogichashvili, 20, and Giorgi Melikidze, 23.


The pair of second rowers – team vice-captain Giorgi Nemsadze and his counterpart Lasha Lomidze, who last played in the national team in November 2018 – are much more experienced.


The third row will be composed of young players – Beka Saghinadze, Giorgi Tsutskiridze and Otar Giorgadze, of whom the latter two have had comparatively more playing exposure during the recent period.


Starting 15 includes, yet again, Lasha Khmaladze at fly-half and Giorgi Begadze at scrum-half, captain Merab Sharikadze and Zurab Dzneladze as centers, Ioseb Matiashvili at fullback and Mirian Modebadze and Giorgi Aptsiauri as wingers.


The bench consists of mature, experienced players: Karlen Asieshvili and Levan Chilachava as replacement props, Giorgi Chkoidze as hooker, Kote Mikautadze as second row forward, Shalva Sutiashvili second/third row forward, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili as substitute third rower, Gela Aprasidze for fly-half, Alexandre Todua, Tamaz Mchedlidze and David Kacharava as substitute backs. Tamaz Mchedlidze has not played this year’s Rugby Europe Championship – like Lomidze, he last played in November 2018.


The Lelos are about to entertheir fifth consecutive Rugby World Cup and this is the first time that they can play their pre-RWC warm-ups in Georgia, in front of their own supporters. Let us see the Lelos off to Japan together!


TBC Rugby Series | Georgia vs Southern Kings



15. Soso Matiashvili, 14. Mirian Modebadze, 13. Zurab Dzneladze, 12. Merab Sharikadze (captain), 11. Giorgi Aptsiauri, 10. Lasha Khmaladze, 9. Giorgi Begadze;



1. Guram Gogichashvili, 2. Vano Karkadze, 3. Giorgi Melikidze, 4. Lasha Lomidze, 5. Giorgi Nemsadze, 6. Beka Saghinadze, 7. Giorgi Tsutskiridze, 8. Otar Giorgadze.



16. Giorgi Chkoidze, 17. Karlen Asieshvili, 18. Levan Chilachava, 19. Kote Mikautadze, 20. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21. Shalva Sutiashvili, 22. Gela Aprasidze, 23. Lasha Malaguradze, 24. Alexandre Todua, 25. Tamaz Mchedlidze, 26. David Kacharava.

Georgian time


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