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The one result Georgia will be satisfied with in dead rubber vs Wales

By PA
Georgia Team Run and Press Conference - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Stade de la Beaujoire - Friday 6th October

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili says discipline and structure will be key ingredients for his team in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup clash against Wales.

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Whatever happens at Stade de la Beaujoire, Georgia cannot progress from Pool C following losses to Australia and Fiji either side of an 18-18 draw against Portugal.

But they showed in defeat at Fiji’s hands that they are capable of producing some outstanding rugby, while it is less than a year since Georgia beat Wales 13-12 in Cardiff.

“In this World Cup against every team we try our best,” Maisashvili said.

“We have been disappointed (with results), but definitely against Wales a good result for us will only be winning the game.

“If you watch our game, not only at the World Cup but in the last year or two years ago, we started to play a more balanced game.

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“That is because everyone understands if you want to go and win big games against tier-one countries you cannot play only this heavy game with just scrummaging or mauling.

“Also you see they are changing the rules in the maul and there is much more advantage for a defensive team against the maul. If you see the statistics, it’s obvious.

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“We have a more balanced game, and for us both forward play and back play are important. How we keep the balance, how our discipline will be, how our structure will be, that will be key in this game.”

Georgia show five changes from the side beaten by Fiji, with Guram Gogichashvili and Shalva Mamukashvili returning to the front row, Nodar Cheishvili starting at lock, captain Merab Sharikadze featuring in midfield and Lasha Khmaladze in at full-back.

Sharikadze led Georgia at the Principality Stadium last year, and he added: “They (Wales) are playing much, much better than they did then. They are an awesome team.

“I can proudly say that was the biggest win in Georgian rugby history, so obviously I am very proud that I have been part of it and this memory is going to stay in our heads for our lifetimes.”

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