Georgia makes key changes for Wales
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili has named a new halfback pairing to face Wales in their Nations Cup fixture in Llanelli on Saturday.
The experienced Vasil Lobzhanidze comes in at scrumhalf to partner Tedo Abzhandadze in the flyhalf berth, as Maisashvili seeks more control in the pivot position.
Captain Merab Sharikadze is at centre along with Giorgi Kveseladze, while Sandro Todua moves from the bench to the left wing.
Jaba Bregvadze, who has Super Rugby experience with Japanese side the Sunwolves, comes into the team at hooker to partner Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili in the front row.
The trio has 138 caps between them, but this is just the second time they will start together.
Kote Mikautadze and Grigor Kerdikoshvili are at lock, with the back row made up of Otar Giorgadze, Beka Saghinadze and No.8 Beka Gorgadze.
Georgia has lost both previous matches to Wales, including a 14-43 defeat at the World Cup last year.
“We did not make many changes after the England game [last week],” the coach, Maisashvili, said.
“Wales is a very strong and tough opponent,” he said.
“Despite losing their last six games, we should expect a quite dangerous and tough game from them.
Georgia: 15 Lasha Khmaladze, 14 Akaki Tabutsadze, 13 Giorgi Kveseladze, 12 Merab Sharikadze (captain), 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Gorgadze, 7 Beka Saghinadze, 6 Otar Giorgadze, 5 Kote Mikautadze, 4 Grigor Kerdikoshvili, 3 Beka Gigashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Giorgi Chkoidze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Lexo Kaulashvili, 19 Lasha Jaiani, 20 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Demur Tapladze, 23 Tamaz Mchedlidze.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli.
Kick-off: 17.15 (21.15 Georgia Time)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Frank Murphy (Ireland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)