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Powerful Georgian team named for giant clash with rivals Portugal

Press Association

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili has made eight changes to his starting XV from the team that lost 35-15 to Australia as he today named his side for the Pool C match against Portugal in Toulouse on Saturday.

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It’s the 13th ranked Georgians who will take on 16th ranked Portugal after both sides suffered losses in the previous round of play.

Maisashvili has made four changes in the forward pack, with Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili coming into the front-row, Vladimer Chachanidze into the second-row, and Beka Saginadze into the back-row.

There are four changes in the back-line with a new halves pairing of Gela Aprasidze and Tedo Abzhandadze, while Alexander Todua comes onto the wing, and Giorgi Kveseladze into the midfield.

Sixteen players in the match-day 23 played against Portugal in the 2023 Rugby Europe Championship final, including four of their five try scorers that day in Akaki Tabutsadze, Demur Tapladze, Guram Papidze and Shalva Mamukashvili.

Akaki Tabutsadze is the only Georgian player to have started in all nine tests this season. He is their leading try-scorer in 2023 with 10, including two doubles and a hat-trick.

Gela Aprasidze starts alongside Tedo Abzhandadze in the halves for only the eighth time, and second this year after their 40-8 victory against the Netherlands in February.

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Two players will earn their 50th test cap, with Giorgi Kveseladze in the run-on team, and Nodar Cheishvili if used off the bench.

Georgia are coming off a 35-15 loss at the hands of the out of sorts Wallabies, and will be looking to assert their European dominance over rivals Portugal, playing in their first Rugby World Cup since 2007.

Head-to-Head

Last 4 Meetings

Wins
1
Draws
3
Wins
0
Average Points scored
20
13
First try wins
25%
Home team wins
25%

If Portugal win the match, for the first time since 2005, they will become the higher ranked of the two nations for the first time since 2006.

Georgia can’t improve on their 13th place, but will drop one, below Japan, if the two sides draw in Toulouse.

GEORGIA TEAM TO FACE PORTUGAL IN TOULOUSE

1 Mikheil Nariashvili
2 Shalva Mamukashvili
3 Beka Gigashvili
4 Vladimer Chachanidze
5 Konstantine Mikautadze
6 Tornike Jalagonia
7 Beka Saginadze
8 Beka Gorgadze
9 Gela Aprasidze
10 Tedo Abzhandadze
11 Alexander Todua
12 Merab Sharikadze (c)
13 Giorgi Kveseladze
14 Akaki Tabutsadze
15 Davit Niniashvili

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Replacements:
16 Tengizi Zamtaradze
17 Guram Gogichashvili
18 Guram Papidze
19 Nodar Cheishvili
20 Giorgi Tsutskiridze
21 Vasil Lobzhanidze
22 Luka Matkava
23 Demur Tapladze

Fixture
Rugby World Cup
Georgia
18 - 18
Full-time
Portugal
All Stats and Data

 

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