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Georgia national rugby union team

Template:Infobox rugby team The Georgia national rugby union team nicknamed The Lelos or Men of Borjgali represents Georgia in international rugby union. Rugby union in Georgia is administered by the Georgian Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual European Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years.

Georgia is currently considered a second tier rugby union nation and is one of the world's fastest growing rugby nations.[citation needed] The Lelos participate in the European Nations Cup, winning the tournament in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. The bulk of the national squad are based in France, in both the Top 14 and lower divisions. This is a practice that was popularized by former national team coach, Claude Saurel, a Frenchman, who later coached neighbouring rivals Russia.

Rugby union is one of the most popular sports in Georgia.[citation needed] The full national team qualified for the 2003 Rugby World Cup - playing against rugby powers such as Ireland and France. The Lelos also qualified for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, where they beat Namibia 30-0 for their first ever World Cup win. As of 23 March 2015, Georgia are ranked 14th in the world by the IRB. Since 2013, Georgia has played host to the IRB Tbilisi Cup.[1][2]

The Georgian national sevens team became the first national side from Georgia to compete in a major tournament, playing in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Cup in Argentina.[when?] Georgia also has a Georgia A national rugby union team.

History

Soviet era

There were unsuccessful attempts to introduce rugby union into Georgia in 1928 and also in 1940 and in 1948.

Rugby's popularity in Georgia might be explained by its resemblance to the traditional Georgian game named "Lelo" or "Lelo Burti" (meaning "Field Ball"). This game was played in Georgia from ancient times and is still played on occasions in rural areas. A field ("Lelo") was selected between two river creeks which represented a playing ground. Two teams, usually consisting of the male population of neighboring villages, would face each other. The number of players from each side was not set, but included any able men each village could summon. A large, heavy ball was placed in the middle of the field and the goal of the game was to carry it over the river creek of the opposing side.

The Georgia Rugby Union was founded in 1964, but until the late 1980s it was part of the Soviet Union's rugby federation. The rugby union connection between France and Georgia started as links were established by the then powerful French Communist Party and many other left-wing organisations. Georgia initially did not have its own team and its best players would play for the USSR team.

In 1988 Georgia produced their first national sevens side. In September 1989, Georgia got together with other FIRA countries to host a tour by Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's first match on the tour was in the wet against Georgia in Kutaisi, west of Tbilisi, which Georgia won 16–3. The next year Georgia went to Zimbabwe where they played two tests, losing the first in Bulawayo and winning the second 26–10 in Harare.

1990s

On 9 April 1991 Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union. Georgia was now a rugby union nation but getting matches was not easy: the old Soviet team continued under the name Commonwealth of Independent States. Georgia were limited to the odd game against Ukraine until they gained membership of the IRB in 1992.

French coach, Claude Saurel, first arrived in Georgia in 1997 with a brief to assess the standard of sport; he and his development team have helped boost the profile of the sport to the extent that it is now considered the country's most popular team sport, even ahead of football. Saurel went on to work with the Rugby Sevens team, until he was appointed as the national coach in the summer of 1999.

Georgia's 1998 loss to Romania saw them play a two legged repechage play-off against Tonga to qualify for the 1999 World Cup. On that occasion Georgia lost the first leg 37–6 in Nukuʻalofa before a 28–27 win in Tbilisi. This was not enough and Georgia failed to qualify.

2000s

After France and Italy dropped from the reborn European Nations Cup, Georgia became a major force in the tournament. In the 2000, Georgia finished second in the competition, finishing behind Romania. The following year, Georgia improved upon this, winning all five of their matches during the 2000/1 tournament, and thus finishing at the top of the table. They clinched the title by beating Romania away 31–20 on the final day. Rugby union took off in the country, the travel and opportunities to land lucrative contracts in France made rugby union a glamorous pursuit in Georgia. Georgia placed second in the 2001-2002 tournament. When Georgia played Russia in the European Nations Cup 65,000 people crammed into the national stadium in Tbilisi.

Georgian first made an impact at Rugby Sevens by finishing a respectable 10th in the 2001 edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Argentina.

World Cup

In 2003 Georgia would face Russia, the two nations would contest another match at the same venue in October 2002, in what was at the time one of the most important clashes ever between the two national sides. The victorious nation would head to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and the loser would be relegated to fight it out for a repechage position. Neither nation had ever been to a World Cup, though Georgia had come close in 1999. 45,000 turned out to the national stadium, with another one and a half million Georgians watching it on national television.[citation needed] Both nations kicked penalty goals in the first half, but Russia moved ahead with a 13–9 lead through a try, but Georgia were able to score a try of their own just before half time, with Levan Tsabadze putting them in front 14–13 at the break. Georgia held on, winning 17–13, a victory which sparked celebrations throughout the capital.[3] Three of the 75 French-based Georgian players were denied permission to play in the tournament and were suspended. Another five were sacked and arrived in Australia as free agents. In a warm-up game held in Asti the Georgians held the Italians to 31–22.

In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Georgia were grouped into pool C alongside giants - South Africa and England. They suffered their heaviest ever defeat when beaten by England 84–6 in their opening game. In their second match, Samoa comfortably eased to a 9–46 victory. Although they performed well against the Springboks (losing 46–19) they were disappointingly defeated by Uruguay 24–12, in a match that they were expected to win. They lost all four of their matches but had impressed against South Africa. Despite the sad financial state of their union, qualification has seen the sport's profile rise throughout Georgia.

In 2007 Georgia recorded their first win in the rugby world cup with a 30-0 win over Namibia in their Pool D match at Stade Felix-Bollaert. The foundation for the three-tries-to-none victory was laid by Georgia's experienced forward pack who wore down their opponents at the breakdown. Dominating territory and possession in the first half it took 37 minutes for Georgia to break Namibia's defensive line, hooker Akvsenti Giorgadze, pushing his way over. Two penalties and a conversion from fly half Merab Kvirikashvili contributed to Georgia's 13-0 lead at the break, becoming Georgia's record point-scorer in rugby world cups. It was another Kvirikashvili penalty in the 68th minute that got the scoreboard ticking over again. Wing Irakli Machkhaneli then scored in the 70th minute after knocking the ball loose in a tackle. Centre Davit Kacharava put the finishing touches on the win intercepting a pass to score on the final whistle. Namibia's RWC 2007 campaign was over with the Georgia 7-64 defeat to hosts France on 30 September.

Georgia began their 2011 Rugby World Cup preparations with a two-match tour in France, the playing base of most of its World Cup player pool, against sides in the country's second-tier league, Pro D2. They won 28-24 against Stade Aurillac on 13 August, followed by a 28-15 win over CS Bourgoin-Jallieu on 19 August.

The pool included England, Argentina and Scotland, as well as local rivals Romania. Despite the close nature of their pool, Georgia were impressive in all matches, including a tight match against Scotland which was lost 15-6, thus missing a bonus point narrowly, and a 41-10 loss against England, which featured a man-of-the-match performance by flanker Mamuka Gorgodze. Georgia went on to record only their second ever Rugby World Cup win against Romania, winning 25-9 with another man-of-the-match performance by Mamuka Gorgodze. Georgia finished their campaign with a strong showing against Argentina, leading 7-5 at half time before conceding 20 unanswered points to lose 25-7. Thus Georgia finished their campaign with 1 win and 3 losses.

Aftermath of the World Cup

In 2008, Georgia augmented its claim to be the seventh best national rugby team in Europe, when it won, for the second time, the European Nations Cup, with nine wins and a single loss over a two-year campaign. Since there is no system of promotion and relegation between the Six Nations Tournament and the ENC, Georgia remained in the ENC for the 2008–10 campaign.

Lelo

The team's nickname, The Lelos, comes from lelo burti, a traditional Georgian sport with strong similarities to rugby. Lelo has been adopted as the Georgian word for "try" (the highest-valued score in rugby). One standard cheer of Georgian rugby union fans is Lelo, Lelo, Sakartvelo (Try, Try, Georgia).

Lelo has its roots in pagan times; the ball symbolized the Sun, one of the cesestial bodies worshipped throughout the Middle East. The game used to be a proven form of military exercise, it was adopted by the Orthodox Church to such an extent that the Priest used to bless a red - the most revered Christian colour - ball at Easter and throw it up to the players. Village vied with village, Uppies with Downies, married men with betrotheds and bachelors, and sometimes teams were selected on tribal lines. The goal of the Lelo-burti was to bring the ball to a pre-marked place, that is Lelo. Hence, both an 'in-goal area' and a 'try' in contemporary Georgian are referred to as 'Lelo'


Record

Overall

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by an Georgia national XV at test level up until 24 March 2015.[4]

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Top 25 Rankings as 1 June 2015[5]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 11px 23x15px New Zealand 93.70
2 11px 23x15px South Africa 88.23
3 11px 23x15px Ireland 85.76
4 11px 23x15px England 85.40
5 11px 23x15px Wales 84.07
6 11px 23x15px Australia 82.95
7 11px 23x15px France 79.74
8 11px 23x15px Argentina 78.23
9 11px 23x15px Samoa 75.39
10 11px 23x15px Scotland 74.79
11 11px1 23x15px Fiji 74.57
12 11px1 23x15px Tonga 74.12
13 11px2 Template:Country data JPN 73.70
14 11px 23x15px Georgia 72.16
15 11px 23x15px Italy 71.85
16 11px 23x15px United States 67.61
17 11px 23x15px Canada 66.83
18 11px 23x15px Romania 66.23
19 11px 23x15px Russia 64.65
20 11px 23x15px Spain 62.59
21 11px 23x15px Uruguay 62.11
22 11px 23x15px Namibia 58.27
23 11px1 23x15px Chile 57.34
24 11px1 Template:Country data HKG 57.31
25 11px1 Template:Country data KOR 56.70
*Change from the previous week
Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
23x15px Argentina 3 0 3 0 0% 28 87 −59
23x15px Argentina Jaguars [N 1] 3 2 1 0 66.67% 54 61 −7
 Barbarians [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 19 28 −9
23x15px Belgium 2 2 0 0 100% 52 13 +39
23x15px Bulgaria 1 1 0 0 100% 70 8 +62
23x15px Canada 4 2 2 0 50% 63 103 −40
23x15px Chile 2 1 1 0 50% 53 36 +17
23x15px Croatia 1 1 0 0 100% 29 15 +14
23x15px Czech Republic 8 8 0 0 100% 310 58 +252
23x15px Denmark 1 1 0 0 100% 19 8 +11
23x15px Emerging Ireland [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 15 20 −5
23x15px Emerging Italy [N 1] 1 1 0 0 100% 34 10 +24
23x15px Emerging Springboks [N 1] 2 0 2 0 0% 10 35 −25
23x15px England 2 0 2 0 0% 16 125 −109
23x15px Fiji 1 0 1 0 0% 19 24 −5
23x15px France 1 0 1 0 0% 7 64 −57
23x15px French Universities [N 1] 1 1 0 0 100% 24 20 +4
23x15px Germany 4 4 0 0 100% 193 19 +174
23x15px Ireland 4 0 4 0 0% 31 196 −165
23x15px Ireland Wolfhounds [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 5 40 −35
23x15px Italy [N 1] 2 0 2 0 0% 29 82 −53
23x15px Italy A [N 1] 5 2 3 0 40% 71 83 −12
Template:Country data JPN 3 1 2 0 33.33% 64 81 −17
Template:Country data KAZ 1 1 0 0 100% 17 5 +12
23x15px Latvia 1 1 0 0 100% 28 3 +25
23x15px Luxembourg 1 0 0 1 0% 10 10 +0
23x15px Moldova 1 1 0 0 100% 47 5 +42
23x15px Morocco 1 1 0 0 100% 20 10 +10
23x15px Namibia 4 3 1 0 75% 95 57 +38
23x15px Netherlands 4 3 1 0 75% 164 64 +100
23x15px Poland 2 0 2 0 0% 29 52 −23
23x15px Portugal 19 13 4 2 68.42% 440 265 +175
23x15px Romania 19 10 8 1 52.63% 347 339 +8
23x15px Russia 19 17 1 1 89.47% 476 224 +252
23x15px Samoa 2 1 1 0 50% 25 61 −36
23x15px Scotland 1 0 1 0 0% 6 15 −9
23x15px Scotland A [N 1] 2 1 1 0 50% 25 90 −65
23x15px South Africa 1 0 1 0 0% 19 46 −27
23x15px South Africa A [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 17 31 −14
23x15px South Africa Kings [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 17 31 −14
23x15px South Africa President's XV [N 1] 1 0 1 0 0% 16 21 −5
23x15px Spain 16 12 3 1 75% 509 253 +246
23x16px  Switzerland 1 1 0 0 100% 22 21 +1
23x15px Tonga 3 1 2 0 33.33% 43 87 −44
23x15px Ukraine 9 9 0 0 100% 281 63 +218
23x15px United States 4 1 3 0 25% 75 109 −34
23x15px Uruguay 4 2 2 0 50% 66 62 +4
23x15px Zimbabwe 3 2 1 0 66.67% 58 35 +23
Total 175 107 62 6 61.14% 4067 3175 +892
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Georgia has awarded international caps for several games against national XV selections, A and B teams, club sides and invitational teams.

Competitions

Rugby World Cup

Georgia has competed in three Rugby World Cup tournaments. Their first appearance was in 2003 when they were placed in Pool C with England, South Africa, Uruguay and Samoa. In 2007 Georgia recorded their first win in the Rugby World Cup with a 30-0 win over Namibia in their Pool D match at Stade Felix-Bollaert. Georgia have won two World Cup matches and lost ten.

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
23x15px23x15px 1987 Not invited -
23x15px23x15px23x15px 1991 Did not enter Did not enter
23x15px 1995 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 15 38
23x15px 1999 8 4 0 4 131 221
23x15px 2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 46 200 2 1 0 1 31 76
23x15px 2007 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 50 111 14 10 1 3 426 182
23x15px 2011 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 48 90 10 8 1 1 326 132
23x15px 2015 Qualified 10 9 1 0 286 106
Total 4/8 12 2 0 10 144 401 46 32 3 11 1215 755

European Nations Cup

Georgia compete annually in the European Nations Cup. They won the tournament seven times in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012,2013,2014 and 2015

Nation Champs Games Won Draw Lost Win/Lose Percentage
23x15px Georgia 7 70 54 4 12 81.82%
23x15px Romania 4 70 51 2 17 75%
23x15px Portugal 1 70 33 3 34 49.25%
23x15px Russia 0 64 36 3 25 59.02%
23x15px Spain 0 60 16 3 41 28.07%

Results against Russia

The Georgian national rugby team has a successful series of results against the Russian rugby team. Georgia and Russia have played 18 games, out of which Russia managed to win only once, with one match ending in a draw.

Tensions between Russia and Georgia remained high after a brief war in August 2008, resulting in the scheduling of head-to-head rugby matches on neutral soil during 2009 and 2010.

Tournament Location Date Home Team Score Away Team
European Nations Cup 2015
23x15px Tbilisi <center> 14.03.2015 23x15px Georgia <center> 33-0 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2015 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 22.02.2014 23x15px Georgia <center> 36-10 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2015 23x15px Sochi <center> 23.02.2013 23x15px Russia <center> 9-23 23x15px Georgia
<center> European Nations Cup 2012 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 17.03.2012 23x15px Georgia <center> 46-0 23x15px Russia
<center> European Nations Cup 2011 23x15px Sochi <center> 19.03.2011 23x15px Russia <center> 9–15 23x15px Georgia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2011 23x15px Trabzon <center>20.03.2010 23x15px Georgia <center> 36–8 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2011 23x15px Mariupol <center> 22.03.2009 23x15px Russia <center> 21–29 23x15px Georgia
<center> European Nations Cup 2008 23x15px Krasnoyarsk <center> 12.04.2008 23x15px Russia <center> 12-18 23x15px Georgia
<center> European Nations Cup 2007 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 24.03.2007 23x15px Georgia <center> 31-12 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2007 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 4.02.2006 23x15px Georgia <center> 46-19 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2007 23x15px Krasnodar <center> 20.11.2004 23x15px Russia <center> 15-27 23x15px Georgia
<center> European Nations Cup 2004 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 6.03.2004 23x15px Georgia <center> 9-3 23x15px Russia
<center> European Nations Cup 2003 23x15px Krasnodar <center> 9.03.2003 23x15px Russia <center> 17-23 23x15px Georgia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2003 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 13.10.2002 23x15px Georgia <center> 17-13 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2003 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 3.03.2002 23x15px Georgia <center> 12-12 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 2003 23x15px Krasnodar <center> 4.03.2001 23x15px Russia <center> 23-25 23x15px Georgia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 1999 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 20.05.1998 23x15px Georgia <center>12-6 23x15px Russia
<center> 1996-1967 FIRA Tournament 23x15px Tbilisi <center> 20.10.1996 23x15px Georgia <center>29-20 23x15px Russia
<center> Rugby World Cup Qualifying 1995 23x15px Sopot <center> 25.05.1993 23x15px Russia <center> 15-9 23x15px Georgia
File:Georgia Rugby.jpg
Georgian rugby players celebrate beating Russia

Players

Current squad

Georgia 27-man squad for the 2014–16 European Nations Cup First Division.[6]

Head Coach23x15px Milton Haig

  • Caps updated: 6 February 2015 2014


Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Club/province
Shalva Mamukashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/HK (1990-10-02) 2 October 1990 (age 25) 27 23x15px Sale Sharks
Zurab Zhvania Template:Rugby squad player/role/HK (1991-09-23) 23 September 1991 (age 24) 13 23x15px Stade Français
Levan Chilachava Template:Rugby squad player/role/PR (1991-08-17) 17 August 1991 (age 24) 18 23x15px Toulon
Vasil Kakovin Template:Rugby squad player/role/PR (1989-12-01) 1 December 1989 (age 26) 24 23x15px Toulouse
Mikheil Nariashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/PR (1990-05-25) 25 May 1990 (age 25) 21 23x15px Montpellier
Davit Kubriashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/PR (1986-03-12) 12 March 1986 (age 29) 38 23x15px Stade Français
Davit Zirakashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/PR (1983-09-20) 20 September 1983 (age 32) 44 23x15px Clermont-Ferrand
Giorgi Chkhaidze Template:Rugby squad player/role/LK (1982-06-24) 24 June 1982 (age 33) 77 23x15px Lille MR
Vakhtang Maisuradze Template:Rugby squad player/role/LK (1987-03-11) 11 March 1987 (age 28) 22 23x15px Albi
Konstantin Mikautadze Template:Rugby squad player/role/LK (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 25) 26 23x15px Toulon
Giorgi Nemsadze Template:Rugby squad player/role/LK (1984-09-26) 26 September 1984 (age 31) 43 23x15px Tarbes
Mamuka Gorgodze Template:Rugby squad player/role/FL (1984-07-14) 14 July 1984 (age 31) 57 23x15px Toulon
Shalva Sutiashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/FL (1984-01-24) 24 January 1984 (age 32) 43 23x15px Massy
Giorgi Tkhilaishvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/FL (1991-04-08) 8 April 1991 (age 24) 16 23x15px Batumi
Beka Bitsadze Template:Rugby squad player/role/N8 (1991-03-24) 24 March 1991 (age 24) 10 23x15px Locomotive
Lasha Lomidze Template:Rugby squad player/role/N8 (1992-06-30) 30 June 1992 (age 23) 6 23x15px Béziers
Giorgi Begadze Template:Rugby squad player/role/SH (1986-03-04) 4 March 1986 (age 29) 28 23x15px Kochebi
Vasil Lobzhanidze Template:Rugby squad player/role/SH 0 23x15px Armazi
Lasha Khmaladze Template:Rugby squad player/role/FH (1988-01-20) 20 January 1988 (age 28) 34 23x15px Lelo Saracens
Lasha Malaghuradze Template:Rugby squad player/role/FH (1986-01-02) 2 January 1986 (age 30) 51 23x15px Stade Bagnérais
Davit Kacharava (c) Template:Rugby squad player/role/CE (1985-01-16) 16 January 1985 (age 31) 76 23x15px Yenisey-STM
Tamaz Mchedlidze Template:Rugby squad player/role/CE (1993-03-17) 17 March 1993 (age 22) 21 23x15px Agen
Merab Sharikadze Template:Rugby squad player/role/CE (1993-05-17) 17 May 1993 (age 22) 28 23x15px Aurillac
Alex Khutsishvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/WG 0 23x15px Kochebi
Alexander Todua Template:Rugby squad player/role/WG (1987-11-02) 2 November 1987 (age 28) 44 23x15px Lelo Saracens
Giorgi Aptsiauri Template:Rugby squad player/role/FB (1994-01-20) 20 January 1994 (age 22) 1 23x15px AIA
Merab Kvirikashvili Template:Rugby squad player/role/FB (1983-12-27) 27 December 1983 (age 32) 80 23x15px Montluçon

Notable players

Ilia Zedginidze - He played as a Number 8 and was a lineout specialist. A member of their inaugural World Cup side in 2003, he captained Georgia in the 2007 tournament, but was forced out of the squad because of an injury. This injury ultimately led to him announcing his retirement from international rugby, after gaining 48 caps.[7] He returned to the squad in late 2008, playing against Scotland A and taking part in the 2009 European Nations Cup, where he scored a game-saving try against Portugal on 14 February 2009.

Malkhaz Urjukashvili - Moved to France, where he has been playing in Stade Toulousain, RC Nîmes, US Tours, in 2003, RC Cannes-Mandelieu, from 2003/04 to 2006/07, in the Fédérale 2, Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne, from 2007/08 to 2008/09, in the Rugby Pro D2 and Groupe Sportife Figeacois, since 2009/10, in the Fédérale 2.

He is one of the best players and scorers for Georgia, holding currently 65 caps for his National Team, with 18 tries, 42 conversions, 41 penalties and 1 drop goal, in an aggregate of 300 points. His first match was a 29-15 win over Croatia, in Tbilisi, at 12 October 1997, aged only 17 years old. This made him one of the youngest players ever to be capped at international rugby level.

He was present at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, playing three matches and scoring 2 penalties and 1 drop goal, 9 points in aggregate. In the game against England at Perth, he kicked a long range penalty that registered as Georgia's first Rugby World Cup points (England eventually won the game 84-6).

He was called once again for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, playing in all the four matches and scoring one conversion. He continued to be a valuable player in the 2011 Rugby World Cup qualification, the third Georgia gained in a row.

Mamuka Gorgodze - Switched to rugby from basketball aged 17. His first club was Lelo in the Georgian Top League, he was soon selected for the Georgia national team and made his debut in 2003 against Spain, at the age of just 18 and not long after he started playing rugby. However he wasn't selected for Georgia's first appearance at the 2003 Rugby World Cup later that year.

In 2004 he became a regular fixture for the Georgia side and then signed for Montpellier in 2005. Gorgodze started his career at Montpellier mainly as a reserve in the side and didn't get much game time. He was still a regular in the Georgia side though and was selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Gorgodze started three of Georgia's four matches at the World Cup, and was one of Georgia's star players.

After the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Gorgodze started playing for Montpellier a lot more regularly and was their first choice lock. Gorgodze was signed by Brive for the 2009/10 season but Gorgodze changed his mind and decided to stay at Montpellier, who were forced to pay Brive 200,000 euros to keep him.[8]

A known weak spot for Gorgodze is his indiscipline, he has received 16 yellow cards for Montpellier since 2007. During 2010 he was banned twice for fighting, once with Sébastien Pagès against Albi[9] and the other time with Alex Tulou against Bourgoin.[10]

Gorgodze changed position for Georgia to the back row, and when Fabien Galthié and Eric Béchu became the new Montpellier coaches before the 2010/11 season they also converted him to the back row. Gorgodze became a revelation at flanker during this season, and halfway through the season French newspaper L'Équipe commented that he improved his technique and became a mobile and unstoppable player.[11] Gorgodze played a big role in Montpellier finishing the 2010/11 Top 14 as runners up, and had a particularly massive match in the Top 14 semi final against Racing-Métro.[12] At the end of the season L'Équipe named him as the best foreigner in the league.

Gorgodze was selected for the Georgia squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and played all the Georgia matches and was named man of the match in two matches, against England and Romania.

Individual all-time records

Most caps

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw %
1. Irakli Abuseridze Scrum-half 2000–2013 85 76 9 40 8 0 0 0 52 30 3 62.94
2. Merab Kvirikashvili Fly-half 2003- 80 63 17 580 12 104 101 3 47 31 2 60.00
Tedo Zibzibadze Centre 2000- 77 65 12 115 23 0 0 0 48 25 4 64.93
3. Giorgi Chkhaidze Flanker 2002- 77 65 12 35 7 0 0 0 50 25 2 66.23
6. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Wing 1997-2011 69 65 4 313 17 45 45 1 40 29 0 57.97
4. Davit Kacharava Centre 2006- 76 61 15 70 14 0 0 0 49 25 2 64.70
7. Gia Labadze Flanker 1996-2012 67 64 3 60 12 0 0 0 39 25 3 65.78
5. Irakli Machkhaneli Wing 2002- 73 68 5 115 23 0 0 0 41 29 3 58.21
9. Ilia Zedginidze Lock 1998-2011 64 62 2 65 13 0 0 0 37 23 4 60.93
10. 2 players on 62 matches

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [13]

Most tries

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Mamuka Gorgodze Lock 2003- 54 49 5 110 22 0 0 0
Irakli Machkhaneli Wing 2002– 67 62 5 110 22 0 0 0
3. Tedo Zibzibadze Centre 2000- 72 62 10 105 21 0 0 0
4. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Wing 1997-2011 69 65 4 313 17 45 45 1
5. Bessik Khamashuridze Fullback 1998-2011 59 50 9 70 14 0 0 0
6. Davit Kacharava Centre 2006- 68 53 15 65 13 0 0 0
Ilia Zedginidze Lock 1998-2011 64 62 2 65 13 0 0 0
8. Akvsenti Giorgadze Hooker 1996-2011 62 53 9 60 12 0 0 0
Gia Labadze Flanker 1996-2012 67 64 3 60 12 0 0 0
10. 2 players on 10 tries

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [14]

Most points

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Merab Kvirikashvili Fly-half 2003– 72 55 17 478 8 93 82 2
2. Pavle Jimsheladze Fly-half 1995-2007 57 55 2 320 9 61 48 3
3. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Wing 1997-2011 69 65 4 313 17 45 45 1
4. Mamuka Gorgodze Lock 2003- 54 49 5 110 22 0 0 0
Irakli Machkhaneli Wing 2002- 67 62 5 110 22 0 0 0
6. Tedo Zibzibadze Centre 2000- 72 62 10 105 21 0 0 0
7. Nugzar Dzagnidze Fly-half 1989-1995 12 12 0 104 3 9 22 3
8. Lasha Malaghuradze Fly-half 2008- 41 28 13 103 3 17 15 3
9. Bessik Khamashuridze Fullback 1998-2011 59 50 9 70 14 0 0 0
10. 2 players on 65 points

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [15]

Most points in a match

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Merab Kvirikashvili Full Back 32 2 11 0 0 23x15px Germany 23x15px Tbilisi 06/02/2010
2. Paliko Jimsheladze Fly-half 23 1 0 6 0 23x15px Russia 23x15px Krasnodar 09/03/2003
Merab Kvirikashvili Fly-half 23 1 9 0 0 23x15px Czech Republic 23x15px Tbilisi 07/04/2007
4. Merab Kvirikashvili Fly-half 22 1 1 5 0 Template:Country data JPN 23x15px Tbilisi 17/11/2012
5. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Fly-half 20 0 7 2 0 23x15px Czech Republic 23x15px Kutaisi 12/06/2005
Lasha Malaghuradze Fly-half 20 1 6 1 0 23x15px Spain 23x15px Madrid 28/02/2009
7. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Full Back 19 1 4 2 0 23x15px Spain 23x15px Tbilisi 28/10/2006
8. Paliko Jimsheladze Fly-half 18 0 9 0 0 23x15px Netherlands 23x15px Tbilisi 03/02/2002
Malkhaz Urjukashvili Wing 18 1 2 3 0 23x15px Romania 23x15px Tbilisi 06/04/2002
Merab Kvirikashvili Full Back 18 1 2 3 0 23x15px United States 23x15px Rustavi 16/11/2013

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [16]

Most tries in a match

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Paliko Jimsheladze Wing 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Bulgaria 23x15px Sofia 23/03/1995
Archil Kavtarahvili Wing 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Bulgaria 23x15px Sofia 23/03/1995
Mamuka Gorgodze Lock 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Czech Republic 23x15px Kutaisi 12/06/2005
David Dadunashvili Hooker 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Czech Republic 23x15px Tbilisi 07/04/2007
Malkhaz Urjukashvili Centre 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Czech Republic 23x15px Tbilisi 07/04/2007
Mamuka Gorgodze Lock 15 3 0 0 0 23x15px Spain 23x15px Tbilisi 26/04/2008
7. 41 players on 2 tries

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [17]

Most matches as captain

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Ilia Zedginidze Lock 2002–2011 32 18 12 2 59.37 30 6 0 0 0
2. Irakli Abuseridze Scrum-half 2007-2012 31 21 9 1 69.35 15 3 0 0 0
3. Zurab Mtchedlishvili Lock 1997-2007 12 7 5 0 58.33 10 2 0 0 0
Levan Tsabadze Prop 2001-2002 12 9 2 11 79.16 15 3 0 0 0
5. Dimitri Oboladze Flanker 1993-1998 11 6 4 1 59.09 5 1 0 0 0
6. Nugzar Dzagnidze Fullback 1991-1994 7 5 2 0 71.42 61 2 6 11 3
Irakli Machkhaneli Wing 2013- 7 4 2 1 64.28 0 0 0 0 0
8 Gia Labadze Flanker 2000-2010 6 1 5 0 16.66 0 0 0 0 0
9. Oleg Liparteliani Wing 1989-1990 3 2 1 0 66.66 0 0 0 0 0
10. 7 players on 2 matches

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [18]

Youngest players

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Malkhaz Urjukashvili Wing 17 years and 18 days 23x15px Croatia 23x15px Tbilisi 12/10/1997
2. Irakli Chkhikvadze (Wing) 18 years and 38 days 23x15px Chile 23x15px Tbilisi 12/11/2005
3. Mamuka Gorgodze (Number 8) 18 years and 223 days 23x15px Spain 23x15px Tbilisi 22/02/2003
Otar Barkalaia Fly-half 18 years and 223 days 23x15px Ireland 23x15px Lansdowne Road 28/09/2002
5. Vito Kolelishvili (Number 8) 18 years and 255 days 23x15px Italy A 23x15px Bucharest 20/06/2008
6. Giorgi Elizbarashvili (Wing) 18 years and 265 days 23x15px Russia 23x15px Tbilisi 13/10/2002
7. Merab Sharikadze Centre 18 years and 270 days 23x15px Spain 23x15px Madrid 11/02/2012
8. Irakli Giorgadze (Centre) 18 years and 328 days 23x15px French Universities 23x15px Tbilisi 10/11/2001
9. Vasil Kakovin (Prop) 18 years and 349 days 23x15px Scotland A 23x15px Glasgow 14/11/2008
10. Giorgi Jgenti (Prop) 18 years and 352 days 23x15px Uruguay 23x15px Montevideo 30/10/2004

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [19]

Oldest players

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Gia Labadze Flanker 38 years and 276 days 23x15px Canada 23x15px Vancouver 23/06/2012
2. Zurab Mtchedlishvili Lock 35 years and 343 days 23x15px France 23x15px Marseille 30/09/2007
3. Victor Didebulidze Lock 35 years and 330 days 23x15px France 23x15px Marseille 30/09/2007
4. Akvsenti Giorgadze Hooker 35 years and 120 days 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Palmerston North 02/10/2011
5. Irakli Abuseridze Scrum-half 35 years and 104 days 23x15px Spain 23x15px Tbilisi 09/03/2013
6. Ilia Zedginidze (Lock) 34 years and 255 days 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Palmerston North 02/10/2011
7. Rati Urushadze Flanker 34 years and 59 days 23x15px Italy A 23x15px Palmanova 20/11/2009
8. Bessik Khamashuridze (Wing) 33 years and 309 days 23x15px Namibia 23x15px Bucharest 19/06/2011
9. Mevlud Mtiulishvili (Prop) 33 years and 301 days 23x15px Romania 23x15px Iasi 27/03/2004
10. Goderdzi Shvelidze (Prop) 33 years and 168 days 23x15px Argentina 23x15px Palmerston North 02/10/2011

Last updated: Georgia vs Samoa, 23 November 2013. Statistics include officially capped matches only. [21]

See also

Sources

References

  1. "Georgia to host IRB Tbilisi Cup in June". International Rugby Board. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. "Georgia to host Tbilisi Cup 2014". International Rugby Board. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  3. "When Georgia’s XV came of age". rwc2003.irb.com. Retrieved 29 November 2006. 
  4. Georgia statistics
  5. 5.0 5.1 "World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  6. Georgian Squad Announced for ENC 2015
  7. "Zedginidze calls time". rugbyworldcup.com. 19 September 2007. 
  8. "Gorgodze à Brive ?". 18 November 2008. 
  9. "Two French suspensions". 22 January 2010. 
  10. "Gorgodze et Tulou s'échangent quelques amabilités". 9 November 2010. 
  11. "Rétrospective 2010". 28 December 2010. 
  12. "Gorgodze percute, tamponne, caramélise, retourne. En plus, il franchit". 3 June 2011. 
  13. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_matches.html?id=81;type=team
  14. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_tries.html?id=81;type=team
  15. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_points.html?id=81;type=team
  16. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_points_match.html?id=81;type=team
  17. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_tries_match.html?id=81;type=team
  18. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/most_matches_captain.html?id=81;type=team
  19. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/youngest_appearance.html?id=81;type=team
  20. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/youngest_appearance.html?id=1;type=class
  21. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/oldest_appearance.html?id=81;type=team
  22. http://stats.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/records/player/oldest_appearance.html?id=1;type=class

External links