RWC 2023

Georgia desperate to show their quality against Fiji

September 29, 2023 6:17 am

[Source: Reuters]

Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili has rejigged his backline after his side’s disappointing World Cup draw against Portugal as the Lelos look to finally show what they are capable of against Fiji in their third Pool C match.

The ambitious Georgians were hugely disappointed with their 35-15 opening loss to Australia, a feeling compounded when they raced to a 13-0 lead against Portugal last week only to have to settle for an 18-18 draw.

Prop Mikheil Nariashvili will captain the much-changed side at Stade de Bordeaux in place of centre Merab Sharikadze, who is one of a number of Georgian players nursing injuries.

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Luka Matkava and Vaso Lobzhanidze return at flyhalf and scrumhalf respectively, while the highly-rated Davit Niniashvili moves from fullback to the left wing.

In the back row, Tornike Jalaghonia, who has not missed a tackle yet at the tournament, shifts from blindside flanker back to number eight with Mikheil Gachechiladze replacing him in the number six shirt in his first appearance of the tournament.

Prop Irakli Aptsiauri came in as a squad injury replacement this week and has been rushed straight into the team as a front-row reserve.

Fiji were convincing 45-10 winners in the meeting between the teams in the pool stage of the 2019 World Cup but Georgia held the Pacific islanders to a 15-15 draw in a 2021 test.

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