Experienced Georgia for 'local' derby

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 00:00
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Georgia play neighbours and rivals Romania in a 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool B clash in Palmerston North on Wednesday, the former's final match of the 2011 World Cup but one likely to bring out the best in both sides.

Georgia play neighbours and rivals Romania in a 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool B clash in Palmerston North on Wednesday, the former's final match of the 2011 World Cup but one likely to bring out the best in both sides.

The two countries share a border and, both Orthodox religiously, they also share a saint - St Antim.

They both play in Division One of FIRA-AER's Nations Cup, play for the Antim Cup and seem to take turns to see who will win.

At present Georgia have been doing better than their western neighbours. Both countries have big men who make sturdy forwards and the top players of both sides play mainly in France.

Georgia, the oldest team at the World Cup, have changed just three players who for a while made life difficult for England.

Prop David Zirakashvili, flank Giorgi Chkhaidze and fullback Lasha Khmaladzecome from the bench into the starting XV. They replace David Kubriashvili, Shalva Sutiashvili and Irakli Machkhaneli.

Georgia: 15 Revaz Gigauri, 14 Revaz Gigauri, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Tedo Zibzibadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Irakli Abuseridze (captain), 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 5 Vakhtang Maisuradze, 4 Ilia Zedginidze, 3 David Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 David Kinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Goderzi Shvelidze, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Levan Datunashvili, 19 Givi Berishvili, 20 Bidzina Samkharadze, 21 Irakli Chkhikvadze, 22 Malkhaz Urjukashvili.

Date: Wednesday, September 28
Kick-off: 19.30 (06.30 GMT)
Venue: Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

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