Sharikadze back to captain Georgia for crucial Fiji encounter

Milton Haig has shared leadership responsibilities around for the Lelos in the past. But he's taking no risks this time as Georgia face a pivotal pool game against Fiji.

TOKYO, 1 Oct - Georgia have made 11 changes for the game against Fiji in Hanazono on Thursday, with Merab Sharikadze, above right, returning as captain to the starting XV for the crucial Pool D encounter.

His steady hand will underpin a more familiar-looking line-up, after coach Milton Haig rotated the squad in the opening defeat to Wales and the win over Uruguay.

Centre Sharikadze is the third player to lead Georgia at Rugby World Cup 2019. Mikheil Nariashvili took the captaincy against Wales, as Sharikadze nursed a knee injury. Jaba Bregvadze led the Lelos against Uruguay, with Sharikadze on the bench.

Georgia are third in Pool D, just one point behind Australia, and will see this as a much-win game.

Young number eight Otari Giorgadze drops to the bench after a huge effort in the rampaging Georgian scrum that Uruguay found so hard to stop.

Georgia will again be hoping for set-piece dominance against a team known for playing a much looser style.

Georgia

1. Mikheil Nariashvili
2. Shalva Mamukashvili
3. Beka Gigashvili
4. Giorgi Nemsadze
5. Konstantine Mikautadze
6. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili
7. Mamuka Gorgodze
8. Beka Gorgadze
9. Vasil Lobzhanidze
10. Lasha Khmaladze
11. Alexander Todua
12. Merab Sharikadze (capt.)
13. David Kacharava
14. Giorgi Kveseladze
15. Soso Matiashvili

16. Jaba Bregvadze
17. Guram Gogichashvili
18. Levan Chilachava
19. Otari Giorgadze
20. Beka Saginadze
21. Gela Aprasidze
22. Lasha Malaguradze
23. Miriani Modebadze

RNS ar/lm