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Georgia's Vasil Lobzhanidze looking to make Rugby World Cup history

Published 16/09/2015

Vasil Lobzhanidze could make World Cup history at the Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday
Vasil Lobzhanidze could make World Cup history at the Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday

Georgia scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze could make World Cup history on the tournament's opening weekend.

Lobzhanidze will become the youngest player ever to appear at a World Cup if he features against Pool C opponents Tonga at Gloucester on Saturday.

It would mean the 18-year-old breaking a record that is currently held by American Thretton Palamo.

" Just a few years ago, I would not have imagined that I would play for the Georgian national team, let alone at a World Cup," he said, during a Georgia press conference in Bristol.

"It is a dream come true, it's a fantastic feeling."

Reflecting on the last World Cup in New Zealand four years ago, Lobzhanidze added: " I was at school. I was very young, so I almost don't remember the last World Cup! We have 12 grades of school in Georgia and I was in the 10th grade.

" I started playing rugby in Tbilisi when I was 11-years-old in one of the clubs, Armazi Tbilisi which is a club that plays in the top division in Georgia, and that is where I still play today.

"My family will be looking for me and watching on television.

"I come from a big family, with a big extended family, which is very typical for Georgia. I have a twin sister, two older sisters and one brother. And I have six nieces and nephews."

Georgia coach Milton Haig, meanwhile, has no doubt about Lobzhanidze's quality.

" He's in the squad because he is one of the top three scrum-halves in Georgia and he's our number one number nine," Haig said.

" Although he is only 18, he plays and makes decisions like a 25 or 26-year-old, and he makes good decisions under pressure.

" He will certainly feature in the pool stages. Whether that's in the first game against Tonga or the last game against Namibia we don't know yet, but he will definitely play."

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