Georgia coach hails 'most optimal' squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili said on Monday he was able to select his “most optimal” squad since the 2019 Rugby World Cup for Tests later this month.
The Lelos face France on November 14 and Fiji in Spain six days later but have been hindered since the tournament in Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pau No.8 Beka Gorgadze is set to make his first Test appearance since last November after suffering a knee injury but veteran Agen hooker Jaba Bregvadze is missing.
“For the first time in the last two years, we have gathered the most optimal composition,” Maisashvili said in a Georgian Rugby Union statement.
“For the games we have almost all the players we wanted to see at this point.
“It is a pleasant fact to see everyone together after a long break,” he added.
Georgia’s last game was July’s loss to South Africa before the second Test was cancelled due to coronavirus cases in the squad, including Maisashvili.
The squad will travel to Bordeaux on Sunday before facing Les Bleus to start their November campaign.
Georgia have one game fewer than planned this month after their Test with Samoa on November 6 was cancelled due to travel difficulties for the Pacific Islanders.
Backs (14): Davit Niniashvili, Lasha Khmaladze; Sandro Todua Akaki Tabutsadze, Mirian Modebadze; Merab Sharikadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Demur Tapladze, Sandro Svanidze; Tedo Abzhandadze, Giorgi Babunashvili; Vasil Lobzhanidze, Gela Aprasidze; Giorgi Tsutskiridze.
Forwards (19): Beka Saghinadze, Tornike Jalaghonia, Otar Giorgadze, Beka Gorgadze; Kote Mikautadze, Nodar Cheishvili, Davit Gigauri, Lasha Jayani, Grigor Kerdikoshvili; Beka Gigashvili, Giorgi Melikidze, Luka Japaridze; Shalva Mamukashvili, Giorgi Chkoidze, Vano Karkadze; Mikheil Nariashvili, Nikoloz Khatiashvili, Guram Gogichashvili.