Six days before France-Georgia, Sunday (2 p.m.) in Bordeaux, the coach and captain of the Lelos held a press conference. Extracts.
Sunday, the XV of France will face Georgia for the 2e only once in its history (64-7 victory in Marseille at the 2007 World Cup). A meeting eagerly awaited by coach Levan Maisashvili and his captain, Merab Sharikadze. Who underlined the importance of this test match in their progress. They took the opportunity to (r) establish some truths.
A historic clash against France
Merab Sharikadze: “It means a lot for us to play against the XV of France. It’s a chance to prove that we are a good team, good players. It won’t be easy, but it’s an opportunity to show what we are capable of, to do our best. This match will also allow us to gain experience. And to give pleasure to our supporters. It’s a big challenge but we are delighted.
Levan Maisashvili: “It’s a great opportunity for us to face a great rugby nation like France. We know that if we are not very aggressive, if we do not put a lot of defensive pressure and that we give them space, it will be complicated. We have to be inspired by what the Argentines have done… ”
Their reputation as physical players
Merab Sharikadze: “World rugby sees us only as a physical team, which plays in front. We are known for that. But we don’t just play in front! We also have three-quarters who know how to play. It won’t happen overnight, but looks are slowly changing in the right direction. “
“We lack experience because we have very few opportunities to face the best teams. “
Levan Maisashvili, Georgia coach
The contribution of the Georgians of the Top 14
Levan Maisashvili: “It’s good for the development of our players, good for the selection. But what we need most of all is to play more matches together. If we often have trouble after the 60e minute, it’s not just a physical problem. This is due to our lack of experience in these high level matches. The difference between Tier 1 nations (the World Top 10, Editor’s note) and those, like us, in Tier 2, is that we have very few opportunities to face the best teams. Once in the summer, once in the fall, and not always. With periods of seven, eight months without a big game. We need to play against big opponents more often to get used to the intensity of these encounters. “
Join the Six Nations Tournament
Levan Maisashvili: “Why not yes. But we need a little more time. We need, before, to face more major nations to then show what we are capable of. Maybe one day we will have this opportunity… ”
Finally receive the major nations in Tbilisi
Merab Sharikadze: “Great nations don’t need this extra advantage of receiving us. We would have more chances at home, pushed by our audience, to achieve the feat of beating them (Georgia has faced Tier 1 nations 32 times, for only two tests in Tbilisi, against Samoa in 2013 and Scotland in 2019, Editor’s note). To face them at home would balance the odds… ”