The Lelos’ Head Coach Levan Maisashvili named the 23-man squad for Georgia vs Russia match to be played at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on March 14 (at 16:00).
After the match aginst Portugal, which Georgia won with a bonus point a week ago, there are 8 changes in the starting 15.
Akaki Tabutsadze healed his injury and returns to his position at wing. Axis is replaced too – the game will be started by Vasil Lobzhanidze and Tedo Abzhandadze.
Team captain, prop Mikheil Nariashvili returns to the starting 15. The second row is fully revamped; the game will be started by seasoned Nomdar Cheishvili and Shalva Sutiashvili. Flanker Giorgi Tsutskiridze is back into the starting 15, and no. 8 will be played by Mikheil Gachechiladze.
Malaguradze’s 100th international cap
The experienced duet of Lasha Malaguradze and David Kacharava keeps their position at center. For Malaguradze this is going to be the 100th match; on March 14 he will become the 4th Georgian centurion, while Kacharava, our most capped international player, will increase his record to 123.
Fullback Soso Matiashvili, flanker Sandro Todua, hooker Shalva Mamukashvili, prop Levan Chilachava and flanker Beka Saghinadze keep their places in the run-on squad.
Backs in the starting 15 have a total of 401 international caps, while the forwards – 339 caps.
Head Coach left the substitute front row unchanged – Giorgi Chkoidze, Guram Gogichashvili and Giorgi Melikidze remain on the bench. Second-row forward Lasha Jaiani was moved to the substitutes; third-row forward Tornike Jalagonia, who had his debut a week ago, keeps his position in the match squad.
Gela Aprasidze has been named replacement scrum-half. Experienced Lasha Khmaladze and young Deme Tapladze will sit on the bench as replacement backs.
Rugby Europe Championship 2020. 5th Round. March 14
Tbilisi, Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, 16:00
Georgia vs Russia
Backs: 15. Soso Matiashvili (Lelo Saracens), 14. Akaki Tabutsadze (Lelo Saracens), 13. David Kacharava (Enissey-STM), 12. Lasha Malaguradze (VVA), 11. Alexandre Todua (Batumi), 10. Tedo Abzhandadze (Brive), 9. Vasil Lobzhanidze (Brive);
Forwards: 1. Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier), 2. Shalva Mamukashvili (Kochebi), 3. Levan Chilachava (Montpellier), 4. Nodar Cheishvili (London Scottish), 5. Shalva Sutiashvili (Angouleme), 6. Beka Saghinadze (Aurillac), 7. Giorgi Tsutskiridze (Aurillac), 8. Mikheil Gachechiladze (Enissey STM).
Substitutes: 16. Giorgi Chkoidze (Lokomotive Penza), 17. Guram Gogichashvili (Racing 92), 18. Giorgi Melikidze (Stade Francais); 19. Lasha Jaiani (Exeter University), 20. Tornike Jalaghonia (Biarritz); 21. Gela Aprasidze (Montpellier), 22. Lasha Khmaladze (Batumi), 23. Deme Tapladze (Lelo Saracens).