Georgia call on Gordodzilla
September 12, 2011
Irakli Abuseridze will captain the side from scrum-half © Getty Images
Georgia head coach Richie Dixon has called upon the talismanic Mamuka Gorgodze to headline his side's clash with Scotland in Invercargill on Wednesday.
Former Scotland coach Dixon has opted to play Montpellier's Gorgodze, nicknamed Gorgodzilla and named by French newspaper L'Equipe as the Top 14's leading overseas player in the 2010-11 season, at openside flanker, with Agen's Dimitri Basilaia at No.8. Dixon said: "We have versatility in our back row and we feel for this particular game Mamuka at seven and Dimitri at eight is how we will start this game.
"It's not a new formation for us. He (Gorgodze) plays very frequently at seven for Montpellier and has played for us a number of times at seven. We feel, for this particular game, this particular combination is the way we want to go."
Thirteen of Georgia's starting line-up ply their trade in France, while Toulon prop David Kubriashvili is on the replacements' bench, emphasising the strength of the pack. Georgia almost provided a preliminary round shock four years ago before Ireland edged to a 14-10 victory in Bordeaux.
Dixon added: "The Ireland game in the last World Cup let everyone see that Georgia are particularly strong up front. But for our team we're looking to have a more balanced team and to show that we've made progress from that game back in 2007.
"Like all other teams we hope we have achieved that and now is the chance for that to be tested." Irakli Abuseridze of Auxerre will captain the side from scrum-half.
Georgia: R Gigauri, I Machkhaneli, D Kacharava, T Zibzibadze, A Todua, M Kvirikashvili, I Abuseridze (capt); D Khinchagishvili, J Bregvadze, D Zirakashvili, L Datunashvili, V Maisuradze, S Sutiashvili, M Gorgodze, D Basilaia
Replacements: A Giorgadze, D Kubriashvili, G Chkhaidze, V Kolelishvili, B Samkharadze, L Khmaladze, M Urjukashvili
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