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Lomu-like six foot five Georgia wing to debut against England

Georgian players line up for the anthems /Getty

Georgia have given their promising former under-20 wing Sandro Svanidze his debut in Saturday’s Autumn Nations Cup match against England.


The elevation of Svanidze, 22 (6’5, 100kg) to the starting XV is one of eight changes made to the team thumped 48-7 by Scotland on October 23.

In total, there are 474 caps in the starting XV with centre Merab Sharikadze leading the team.

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Eddie Jones talks ahead of Georgia showdown:
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Eddie Jones talks ahead of Georgia showdown:

Directing operations will be a new-look half-back pairing of Gela Aprasidze and Tedo Abzhandadze.

An experienced pack with a total of 254 caps between them will feature against England. There four changes in total in the pack. Leicester Tigers’ hooker Shalva Mamukashvili is promoted from the bench, while Beka Gigashvili returns at tighthead from an injury layoff.

Lasha Jaiani comes in in the engine while Giorgi ‘Koki’ Tkhilaishvili is promoted from the bench into the back row.

Backs: 15. Lasha Khmaladze (83 caps, 53 points), 14. Akaki Tabutsadze (3 caps, 30 points), 13. Giorgi Kveseladze (25 caps, 20 points), 12. Merab Sharikadze (67 caps, 60 points, captain), 11. Sandro Svanidze (*), 10. Tedo Abzhandadze (16 caps, 53 points), 9. Gela Aprasidze (26 caps, 24 points);


Forwards: 1. Mikheil Nariashvili (62 caps, 10 points), 2. Shalva Mamukashvili (75 caps, 50 points), 3. Beka Gigashvili (14 caps, 5 points), 4. Lasha Jaiani (2 caps), 5. Grigor Kerdikoshvili (2 caps), 6. Beka Saginadze (13 caps, 5 points), 7. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili (58 caps, 60 points), 8. Beka Gorgadze (28 caps, 40 points);

Substitutes: 16. Jaba Bregvadze (59 caps, 15 points), 17. Guram Gogichashvili (15 caps, 5 points), 18. Lexo Kaulashvili (1 caps), 19. Otar Giorgadze (26 caps, 25 points), 20. Tornike Jalagonia (1 caps); 21. Vasil Lobzhanidze (52 caps, 40 points), 22. Deme Tapladze (3 caps, 5 points), 23. Sandro Todua (86 caps, 65 points)

E Daly (Saracens); J Joseph (Bath Rugby), O Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), J May (Gloucester Rugby); O Farrell (Saracens, capt), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); E Genge (Leicester Tigers), J George (Saracens), W Stuart (Bath Rugby), C Ewels (Bath Rugby), J Launchbury (Wasps), M Itoje (Saracens), J Willis (Wasps), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: T Dunn, (Bath Rugby), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Sinckler (Bristol Bears), B Earl (Bristol Bears), T Curry (Sale Sharks), D Robson (Wasps), M Malins (Bristol Bears), J Marchant (Harlequins).


additional reporting RugbyPass


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FEATURE Mick Cleary: 'Andy Farrell gets it. Head and heart in perfect alignment. Get him in the job now.' Mick Cleary: 'Andy Farrell gets it. Head and heart in perfect alignment. Get him in the job now.'