Retired Gorgodze named in Georgia World Cup squad

Tbilisi (AFP) –


Georgia's leading try scorer Mamuka Gorgodze was included in his country's squad for the Rugby World Cup, more than two years after announcing his international retirement.

Gorgodze, 35, brought an end to his Test career in 2017, but was recalled by head coach Milton Haig with the likes of loose forwards Nodar Cheishvili and Giorgi Tsutskeridze missing out on selection.

The Toulon lock, who has the nick-name 'Gorgodzilla', has 26 tries in 71 appearances for the 'Lelos' and is set to feature at his fourth World Cup.

Teenage hooker Vano Karkadze, who featured at this year's junior world championships, is also included in Kiwi Haig's group unlike injured veteran Merab Kvirikashvili and fly-half Lasha Khmaladze.

The 'Lelos' have beaten South African side the Southern Kings and lost to Scotland so far in warm-up matches for the tournament, fixtures Gorgodze has missed, and they travel to Edinburgh on Friday fpr a Scotland rematch.

Georgia open their campaign against Wales before facing Uruguay, Fiji and Australia in the pool stages.

Georgia squad of the Rugby World Cup in Japan:

Backs (14): Tedo Abzhandadze (Brive), Gela Aprasidze (Montpellier), Giorgi Begadze (Kochebi Bolnisi), Zurab Dzneladze (Lokomotiv Tbilisi), David Katcharava (Enisei-STM), Lasha Khmaladze (Batoumi), Giorgi Kveseladze (Armazi Marneouli), Vasil Lobzhanidze (Brive), Lasha Malaguradze (Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk), Ioseb Matiashvili (Lelo Saracens), Tamaz Mchedlidze (Rouen), Mirian Modebadze (Kutaisi), Merab Sharikadze (Aurillac), Alexander Todua (Batoumi)

Forwards (17): Jaba Bregvadze (Sunwolves), Levan Chilachava (Montpellier), Beka Gigashvili (Toulon), Otar Giorgadze (Brive), Guram Gogichashvili (Racing 92), Beka Gorgadze (Bordeaux-Begles), Mamuka Gorgodze (Toulon), Vano Karkadze (Aurillac), Lasha Lomidze (Doncaster), Shalva Mamukashvili (Enisei-STM), Giorgi Melikidze (Stade Francais), Kote Mikautadze (Montpellier), Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier), Giorgi Nemsadze (Ospreys-capt), Beka Saginadze (Aurillac), Shalva Sutiashvili (Soyaux-Angouleme), Giorgi Tkhilaishvili (Batoumi)