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Humphreys eager to give Georgia an edge in new coaching role

Humphreys eager to give Georgia an edge in new coaching role

Humphreys eager to give Georgia an edge in new coaching role

Former Ireland international David Humphreys believes his knowledge of the opposition can give Georgia an edge in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Humphreys and ex-France hooker Sebastian Bruno have joined the Georgian coaching set-up ahead of the inaugural edition of the competition to support head coach Levan Maisashvili.

Humphreys, who played 72 times for Ireland, will take on a high-performance consultant role with the Lelos after leaving his position as Gloucester’s director of rugby in June.

The 49-year-old scored 560 points for Ireland during his ten-year international career and will be joined in the Georgia backroom team by fellow Ulster man Neil Doak.

“The job came about very quickly, Humphreys explained to BBC Sportsound Extra Time. “Georgia were not initially due to be involved in the Autumn Nations Cup but have replaced Japan, who were not able to travel due to Covid restrictions.

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“Given that Georgia sit outside the top 10-ranked teams in world rugby, it was always going to be a challenge to get them prepared for playing some of the best teams in the world.

“Myself and Neil [Doak] were asked if we could try and support Georgia by giving them a bit of an insight into the teams we will be facing.”

Doak, who has previously held similar coaching roles with Ulster, Emerging Ireland, Ireland and Worcester Warriors, will become Georgia’s backs and attack coach for the tournament.

And Humphreys is confident the experienced Irishman will be worth his weight in gold.

β€œNeil has proved his ability as a coach, to turn a team around and to implement an attacking game, which is what Georgia need,” continued Humphreys.

“They have a defence coach and a good set-piece, what they need to find for this competition is a little bit of an edge to their attack.

“That is what Neil has done for many years and I have no doubt the Georgian players will enjoy the different approach that he brings to coaching.

“With such a short period of time to prepare for these international games, it is not about changing everything, it is about fine-tuning two or three different areas that will give us a bit of an edge.”

Former Les Bleus hooker Bruno has also been added to the Georgia coaching staff, taking on the role of forwards coach after working with France during last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Bruno played 26 times for his country over an eight-year period, including the successful 2006 Six Nations, and will perform the same role with Georgia as he did with France in Japan.

Calvin Morris, who previously held the role of strength and conditioning coach with England at the Rugby World Cup in 2011, also joins the Lelos coaching staff as high-performance director.

Georgia will face England and Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup before taking on Ireland in their last Group A game, which will see Humphreys come up against his home country, and then facing their positional equivalent from Group B in the finals game on December 5/6.

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