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Georgia flyhalf duo courted by French clubs

Luka Matkava of Georgia (C) runs with the ball during Rugby Europe Championship match between Georgia and Portugal at Stade Jean Bouin on March 17, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Georgia stalwarts Luka Matkava and Tedo Abzhandadze are in the process of negotiating the next step os their careers next step, with the Pro D2 on the horizon for both fly-halves.

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After two seasons with Montauban, Tedo Abzhandadze is Aurillac’s number one priority to take over Antoine Aucagne’s place, as the Les Bleus U20 is moving to Perpignan. The 24-year-old has enjoyed little rugby in the current season, having largely been cast aside from either a starting or bench role at Montauban, and a change of environment might be the right decision for a player who is a vital cog in Cockerill’s Lelos.

As for the elusive Luka Matkava, after three spectacular seasons for the Georgian franchise the Black Lion – three-time Rugby Europe Super Cup champions – the 22-year-old is in contention to sign with a Pro D2 side.

George North’s future club, Provence, is one of the teams in pursuit of the flamboyant first five-eighth, but there’s still some uncertainty about what’s next for Matkava. Grenoble and Oyonnax are some of the suitors to sign Matkava before June.

The young 10 started in three out of four matches of the past Rugby World Cup, overtaking Abzhandadze to become the main fly-half in the setup, remaining the first choice in Richard Cockerill Georgia.

This would be Matkava’s first adventure abroad after successfully coming through the Georgian youth system.

With the announcements of Vasil Lobzhanidze moving to US Oyonnax and Irakli Aptsiauri joining Davit Niniashvili at Lyon OU, Georgia continues to bet heavily in the French pro competitions to give an extra push on their player’s progress.

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