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Maisashvili makes three changes for Georgia ahead of Fiji clash

Maisashvili makes three changes for Georgia ahead of Fiji clash

Maisashvili makes three changes for Georgia ahead of Fiji clash

Levan Maisashvili has made three changes to the Georgia starting XV ahead of the 7/8th placed play-off with Fiji at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Lelos head into the match off the back of three defeats in the group stage, but will be determined to end the competition on a high after a promising performance in their 23-10 defeat to Ireland last time out.

21-year-old Tornike Jalagonia will earn his fourth international cap at No.8 in Edinburgh, as he replaces regular starter Beka Gorgadze, who has picked up a knee injury.

Vasil Lobzhanidze and Tedo Abzhandadze will once again start in the half-backs, with the duo beginning to form an impressive partnership, while Merab Sharikadze and Round 3 Player of the Round Giorgi Kveseladze will line up in the midfield.

Akaki Tabitsadze remains at his spot on the wing, while Sandro Todua will replace Tamaz Mchedlidze on the other flank, with Soso Matiashvili at full-back.

The front row remains unchanged for the showdown with the Fijians, as props Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili retain their place in the starting lineup, alongside hooker Shalva Mamukashvili.

Lock Kote Mikautadze is back in the second row after recovering from a rib injury, with the Toulon man taking his place next to Lasha Jaiani, while Otar Giorgadze comes in to partner Beka Saginadze at flanker.

Maisashvili said: “As this is the final week of the tournament, we are mostly focused on the game and made squad selection according to several criteria. We selected the players who are best prepared for the game at current moment.

“Unfortunately, we also have some injuries, which obviously influenced the selection process, and it is very unfortunate that we will lack such a leader as Beka Gorgadze is. He is a huge force behind the team.

“Young Tornike Jalagonia, who performed exceptionally well against Ireland, will prepare to start instead of him on Saturday. This game will be the perfect opportunity for him to grow.

“I am very happy to have Kote Mikautadze back in lineup, as he recovered from the injury picked against Wales.

“Fiji obviously is a very tough and dangerous opposition and if we let them control the ball, clearly they are capable of causing us some serious trouble. They have brilliant individualist players who can be very dangerous, thus we will need to confront them with our strength.”

Georgia starting XV to face Fiji: 

15. Soso Matiashvili (29 caps)

14. Akaki Tabutsadze (6 caps)

13. Giorgi Kveseladze (28 caps)

12. Merab Sharikadze (70 caps, Captain)

11. Sandro Todua (88 caps)

10. Tedo Abzhandadze (19 caps)

9. Vasil Lobzhanidze (55 caps)

1. Mikheil Nariashvili (65 caps)

2. Shalva Mamukashvili (77 caps)

3. Beka Gigashvili (17 caps)

4. Lasha Jaiani (5 caps)

5. Kote Mikautadze (65 caps)

6. Otar Giorgadze(28 caps)

7. Beka Saghinadze (16 caps)

8. Tornike Jalaghonia (3 caps)

Replacements: 

16. Jaba Bregvadze (61 caps)

17. Guram Gogichashvili (17 caps)

18. Giorgi Melikidze(21 caps)

19. Grigol Kerdikoshvili (4 Caps)

20. Mikheil Gachechiladze (11 caps)

21. Gela Aprasidze (28 caps)

22. Demur Tapladze (5 caps)

23. Davit Niniashvili (1 cap)

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