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Rugby Europe statement: Georgia versus Russia fixture

By Ian Cameron
Russia claim a lineout against Portugal in front of 12,000 fans at Kaliningrad Stadium (Photo by Anastasia Osipova/Russian Rugby Union)

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Rugby Europe has taken the decision to postpone the upcoming Georgia versus Russia fixture in the Rugby Europe Championship.

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Russia currently sit fourth in the Europe Rugby Championship log, having lost both of their opening games against Spain and Romania.

It is speculated that aside from the potential logistical issues due to the burgeoning conflict in Ukraine, there were concerns for the safety of Russian nationals entering the country.

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A statement reads: “Considering the current situation and to preserve the health and safety of all players and officials, Rugby Europe has decided to postpone the game between Georgia and Russia scheduled to take place on February 27th in Tbilisi, Georgia and to cancel the Snow Rugby Championship scheduled to take place on February 27th and 28th in Moscow, Russia.

“The game between Spain and Russia in the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship scheduled on February 26th in Madrid, Spain, is currently maintained.”

“We will be making no further comment at this time on this matter.”

Many online are calling for the Russian team to be removed from the competition altogether. The Russian Rugby Union have not yet commented on the matter.

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Earlier in the day, the Georgian Rugby Union’s official Twitter account posted a promotion for the fixture, with the twist that it was written in the Ukrainian language. The post was quickly deleted.

Georgian fans booed the singing of the Russian national anthem in 2010 in a match that relocated to Turkey following the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.

It is undoubtedly rugby union’s most legitimately bitter rivalry and one that is typically the most well-attended home fixture for Georgia, regularly attracting crowds of 60,000 people to Tblisi.

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