Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# pocket rocket
This tough-tackling scrum-half is set to become the Rugby World Cup's youngest ever player
Vasil Lobzhanidze may be only 18, but he can handle himself.

HE MAY HAVE only five international caps to his name, but Georgia’s 18-year-old scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze has already shown he’s able to handle himself.

Here he is during the Junior World Championship, stopping a Fijian wing in his tracks.

Ruddy Darter / YouTube

And here, he embarrasses a Russian forward.

Ruddy Darter / YouTube

That physicality was likely a big factor in head coach Milton Haig’s decision to hand Lobzhanidze a place in his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad. And now that he’s in, he is in with a chance of becoming the competition’s youngest ever player.

The old record is held by USA’s Thretton Palamo when he was a week after his 19th birthday when he faced South Africa on their way to winning the Webb Ellis Cup in 2007.

Mamuka Gorgodze celebrates Billy Stickland / INPHO Gorgodze politely applauds after Toulon's Champions Cup quarter-final win over Wasps. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Lobzhanidze will not turn 19 until a week after Geogia complete their pool fixtures against Namibia – and with New Zealand, Argentina and Tona also providing opposition, they are extremely unlikely to be involved at that stage.

Here’s the full 31-man Georgian touring party captained by the great Mamuka Gorgodze.

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

Georgia squad for Rugby World Cup 2015

Forwards: Mikheil Nariashvili, Kakha Asieshvili, Simon Maisuradze, Shalva Mamukashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Davit Zirakashvili, Dudu Kubriashvili, Levan Chilachava, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Levan Datunashvili, Giorgi Nemsadze, Kote Mikautadze, Mamuka Gorgodze (captain), Shalva Sutiashvili, Vito Kolelishvili, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Lasha Lomidze.

Backs: Merab Kvirikashvili, Beka Tsiklauri, Giorgi Aptsiauri, Sandro Todua, Tamaz Mtchedlidze, Muraz Giorgadze, Giorgi Pruidze, Davit Katcharava, Merab Sharikadze, Lasha Malaghuradze, Lasha Khmaladze, Giorgi Begadze, Vazha Khutsishvili, Vasil Lobzhanidze.

As you were: South African court allows Springboks to go and compete in Rugby World Cup

‘That’s two or three individuals with massive amounts of money to spend’

Your Voice
Readers Comments