Gorgadze returns to Georgia for France Test
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Back row forward Beka Gorgadze will make his first Test appearance in almost a year when Georgia face France this weekend.
No.8 Gorgadze returns to the Georgian side for Sunday’s game after the 25-year-old recovered from a serious knee injury in last November’s loss to Ireland.
Pau’s Gorgadze is one of 14 players in the matchday squad who play club rugby in France’s leading two divisions, the Top 14 and Pro D2.
“These guys are our teammates in the Top 14 and we know their style of play very well,” Gorgadze said.
“This is a kind of stimulus for us because we know that there are many things we can do to resist them.
“The first minutes of the kick-off will be important. If the French oppress you in the first minutes, then the course of the game changes completely, so we have to be aggressive from the beginning,” he added.
Head coach Levan Maisashvili, who suffered from COVID-19 during the mid-year tour to South Africa, made six changes from their last fixture, a heavy loss to South Africa on July 2.
Gorgadze’s fellow loose forwards in Aurillac openside flank Giorgi Tsutskiridze and Agen lock Grigor Kerdikoshvili also return to the international set-up after fitness issues.
Experienced wing Alexandre Todua, hooker Shalva Mamukashvili and Toulon prop Beka Gigashvili are the other new faces.
“We have an optimal composition for this stage. Good news is that Beka Gorgadze, Grigor Kerdikoshvili and Giorgi Tsutskiridze came back from injury,” Maishasvili said in a GRU statement.
“I am sure that the substitutions will give us a lot of strength during the match,” he added.
Maisashvili’s side finish their two-match November series by facing Fiji in Madrid next weekend.
Georgia: 15 David Niniashvili, 14 Akaki Tabutsadze, 13 Giorgi Kveseladze, 12 Merab Sharikadze (captain), 11 Alexandre Todua, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Gorgadze, 7 Giorgi Tsutskiridze, 6 Beka Saginadze, 5 Kote Mikautadze, 4 Grigor Kerdikoshvili, 3 Giorgi Melikidze, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Beka Gigashvili.
Replacements: 16 Giorgi Chkoidze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Luka Japaridze, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Tornike Jalagonia, 21 Mikheil Alania, 22 Lasha Khmaladze, 23 Demur Tapladze.
Date: Sunday, November 14
Venue: Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux
Kick-off: 14.00 (13.00, 17.00 Georgia time)
Referee: Damon Murphy (Australia)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England) & Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)