Georgia make six changes for Ireland clash

Ireland’s opponents on Sunday have lost their opening two Nations Cup matches to England and Wales.

Georgia's Vasil Lobzhanidze in action against Wales.
Georgia's Vasil Lobzhanidze in action against Wales.
Image: PA

GEORGIA HAVE MADE six changes to their starting XV for Sunday’s match against Ireland.

In the backs, Soso Matiashvili has recovered from his injury and returns at full-back after missing last week’s 18-0 defeat to Wales. Tamaz Mchedlidze is also in the starting XV, selected on the wing, having not played since February, when he lined out against Spain.

The half-backs remain unchanged; Vasil Lobzhanidze and Tedo Abzhandadze start their 14th international together. Both play with Brive in the French Top 14. The centre partnership of Merab Sharikadze and Giorgi Kveseladze also remains united while Akaki Tabutsadze keeps his position on the wing.

There are four changes in the pack from last week’s encounter in Llanelli. Shalva Mamukashvili comes in at hooker, and is assisted in the front row by Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili who will start their third consecutive match as props in this tournament. Gigashvili, the Toulon prop, is the side’s world class star.

The second row has been fully refreshed. Nodar Cheishvili has recovered from injury and starts alongside Lasha Jaiani, as Kote Mikautadze is out with a rib injury.

In the backrow, Tornike Jalagonia, Beka Saginadze and Beka Gorgadze are named. Two potential  debutants,  scrum-half Mikheil Alania, who celebrated his 20th birthday last week, and 18-year-old fullback David Niniashvili, are on the bench.

Also among the replacements are Demur Tapladze, who has four international caps to his name, backrow specialist, Mikheil Gachechiladze, whose last international match was against Spain in February, as well as the lock, Giorgi Javakhia.

Giorgi Chkoidze will act as replacement hooker. Substitute props are Lexo Kaulashvili (loosehead) and Giorgi Melikidze (tighthead).

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Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Garry Doyle

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