Georgia looking to source a disappointment at the Rugby World Cup
Posted by Eticketing.co on September 23rd, 2023
Maisashvili is currently in France leading Georgia at the Rugby World Cup 2023. Not long ago, Georgia struggled to find opponents to play against and equipment to train with. But now it's defeating some of the best teams in the sport and has its sights set on further growth.
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Levan Maisashvili has experienced firsthand the battle against overwhelming odds. He faced a mere 1% chance of survival after contracting Covid-19 in South Africa in 2021. Remarkably, he spent a month in a coma shedding 25 kilograms during his harrowing ordeal. The head coach of Georgia's rugby union team Maisashvili says we've always had a deep-rooted history. And DNA of resilience reflecting on his nation's proud and defiant spirit.
Maisashvili has fully recovered and just a year after his near-death experience, he orchestrated Georgia's historic victories over Italy. The country's first win against a tier-one rugby nation was a term reserved for the sport's top-level international competitors and Wales.
Traditionally, rugby has been dominated by a select few nations with only four different countries winning the RWC since its inception in 1987. Despite its small population of just 3.7 million, Georgia boasts rugby players like Nika Abuladze a towering 269-pound prop. He can reportedly squat over 570 pounds and bench press nearly 400 pounds.
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This nation of formidable men is on a mission to challenge rugby's established order and its players are unwavering in their commitment to this cause. Their collective focus is now squarely set on proving to the world that after decades of being written off. As an easy target for the giants of the sport, Georgia is a genuine force to be reckoned with.
After an initial setback with a 35-15 loss to Australia in their Rugby World Cup opener, Georgia aims to rebound. Against Portugal this Saturday and in their final pool C games against Fiji and Wales. Rugby World Cup fans can buy Wales Rugby World Cup Tickets from our website.
While Georgia may be a newcomer to the international rugby scene the roots of the game in this country trace back centuries. One of its early sports known as Lelo burti bears some resemblance to rugby. In Lelo Burti two teams engage in a fierce contest to move a 16-kilogram ball filled with materials.
Like sand, sawdust and even wine from one end of a village to the other. It's a more chaotic version of rugby often involving hundreds of participants. This folk sport arguably played a role in shaping rugby's popularity in Georgia evident in the country's rugby terminology. The national team goes by the name "The Lelos" and a rugby try is locally referred to as a "Lelo."
The Georgian national rugby team was officially established in 1964 but initially operated under the umbrella of the Soviet Union rugby federation. Despite representing a small part of the Soviet Union, Georgian players were a dominant force within the larger nation's rugby team.
Georgia's rugby team played challenges due to imperfect possessions
By the 1980s, Georgian clubs were the most successful in the Soviet championship and contributed a significant number of players. If not the majority to the Soviet national team as noted by Tony Collins a historian specializing in rugby history. Rugby World Cup fans can buy Rugby World Cup 4th Quarter Final tickets from our website.
After gaining independence, Georgia's rugby team faced challenges due to limited resources. According to "A Game for Hooligans" the Georgian team had only two rugby balls for practice in 1997. Despite these constraints, rugby became a means for this newly independent nation to assert itself on the global stage.
Georgia made its debut in the Rugby World Cup in 2003 albeit losing all its matches. Despite the outcomes, Collins highlights that the tournament raised rugby's profile in Georgia like no other sport had. It came to symbolize the Georgian identity as an underdog, resilient and determined nation.
This growing prominence led to increased government funding for grassroots rugby and attracted significant investment from Bidzina Ivanishvili. Georgia's wealthiest individual and former prime minister poured substantial resources into the country's rugby program.
Beyond the RWC the premier international rugby competitions consist of the Northern Hemisphere's Six Nations. And the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship which collectively determines the majority of top-tier nations' international fixtures.
Georgia has been actively pursuing inclusion in an expanded Six Nations or advocating for some form of promotion and relegation system within the competition for several years. However, these endeavours have encountered significant obstacles. Collins notes that Georgia faces deep-seated structural biases that have been ingrained in rugby union since its inception.
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He adds that The Lelos' entry into the Six Nations appears unlikely in the foreseeable future partly due to commercial considerations. And the substantial financial risk that relegation could impose on the existing member nations. To read more about Ireland making one change for the South Africa match in the Rugby World Cup.
Despite the recent progress made by the Georgian rugby team, many pundits remain sceptical. About The Lelos' prospects of advancing beyond the group stages let alone clinching the tournament victory. Georgia finds itself in a challenging pool featuring formidable opponents such as Fiji, Wales and two-time champion Australia.
The latter of which suffered a surprising defeat against Fiji reshaping the group's dynamics. A matchup against Portugal positioned three spots lower than Georgia in the world rankings presents a favourable opportunity for victory in Toulouse. However, Wales and Fiji pose more formidable challenges later in the tournament.
Leaving the group stage behind, if fortune smiles upon them and their adversaries have an off day. Georgia could find themselves just a few games away from a spot in the final as noted by Collins. Maisashvili when asked about his objectives for the tournament expresses the desire to secure a minimum of two wins to earn direct qualification for the RWC 2027.
Georgia can indeed accomplish the amazing achievements
Beyond this goal, he harbours a loftier ambition to dispel the notion that tier-two nations like Georgia are mere also-rans. he asserts that we aim to approach every opponent as a legitimate contender to play to win and demonstrate our ability to compete against tier-one nations. Rugby World Cup are renowned for their capacity to deliver surprises and defy expectations.
If Georgia can accomplish precisely that Maisashvili aspiration may take a significant step toward becoming a reality. Rugby World Cups are well-known for their ability to produce unexpected outcomes and exceed pre-tournament expectations. It acknowledges the potential for Georgia as an underdog or less-heralded team to achieve surprising victories or defy expectations in the tournament.
If Georgia can indeed accomplish these surprising feats, it suggests the aspirations of Georgia's head coach to establish Georgia. As a legitimate rugby competitor and no longer be dismissed as an also-ran would be much closer to becoming a reality. Essentially, the unexpected success of Georgia in the Rugby World Cup could help change perceptions about their rugby program.
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