With another team playing their final game of the World Cup, another player has bowed out of international rugby as Georgia’s Mamuka Gorgodze has taken his leave.
The former captain played his final game for his country on Friday in a heroic effort against the Wallabies, as his side made over 200 tackles in a 27-8 loss.
It was a performance from the 35-year-old that the rugby world has come to expect over the past decade, as he made 15 tackles, missing none.
The Toulon forward retired from international rugby in 2017 but rejoined the squad shortly before the RWC this year to make his fourth tournament and have the send-off that he deserves.
After his 75th and final game for Georgia – his 15th in the RWC – fans from all over the world have praised Gorgodze on social media for the impact he has had on the game.
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They recognised the immeasurable contribution he has given to Georgian rugby over the years and indeed to world rugby.
During his prime – and even now – he was revered as one of the most brutally physical players going, which was shown in his man of the match performance against the All Blacks in the 2015 RWC. This is what has been said:
Respect to the big Man! I honestly fell in love with Rugby watching him against New Zealand 4 years Ago!! Good luck in the future!! ??????????
— Manu (@MBedinadze) October 11, 2019
I was in the crowd cheering loudly, at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff 2015, when he was declared Man Of The Match in the RWC pool game: Georgia vs New Zealand All Blacks. He looked so surprised, but he deserved it! He has been a great ambassador for the game. Go Well Gorgodze! 🙂
— Tracy Homer (@Trapac) October 11, 2019
— Matt Saunders (@MSaundersUSA) October 11, 2019
— Ed (@Head_Langdon) October 11, 2019
Honoured to have seen this legend take to the field on more than one occasion, highlights have to be his try v Tonga & barking orders on the field right after he'd been yellow carded v Argentina so much commitment that he didn't want to leave the field. ,#RWC2019 https://t.co/ZKcQ8yL1tx
— Dave Woodward (@DMWoodward17) October 11, 2019
— Rumple Spilskind (@justus_beets) October 11, 2019
Gorgodze’s contribution to Georgian rugby is comparable to that of Sergio Parisse’s to Italy, where both have been titans of their teams for over 15 years.
However, while Gorgodze was lucky enough to be given this send-off in his final game, Parisse was deprived of that pleasure, which many fans have also raised on Twitter.
With Italy’s game against the All Blacks being cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis, the Italian was not given a swansong like Gorgodze in what would have been his 143rd game. The Georgian is not to blame for that and should be able to celebrate the career he has had.
WATCH: Georgia, Rugby Next Superpower
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