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Glasgow flanker Rob Harley expects Georgia to be gunning for Scotland

Published 25/11/2016

Rob Harley would bot be surprised if Georgie caused an upset by beating Scotland on Saturday
Rob Harley would bot be surprised if Georgie caused an upset by beating Scotland on Saturday

Rob Harley says nobody should be surprised if Georgia shoot down Scotland on Saturday because they are gunning for the world's top nations.

The Glasgow flanker thinks the Lelos have made major strides in recent years.

Under Kiwi head coach Milton Haig, the Georgians have climbed to 12th place in the World Rugby rankings and have beaten Tonga, Fiji and Samoa already this year.

Beating Scotland when the teams meet at Kilmarnock would represent their biggest scalp to date but Harley is in no doubt about their qualities.

He said: " Looking at the way they are playing they are showing a lot of form and had a good result against Samoa last week.

"Would it be an upset of they were to win on Saturday? I'm sure they're pushing for this kind of result.

"If you look at their recent run of games, they're playing good rugby, they're playing well, so it's a good challenge for us and we're looking forward to having that challenge, especially up front.

"We looked at Georgia this week and they're a very good team. They've got a lot of strengths, notably up front in the scrum and their maul, and when they bring big runners round the corner they're very dangerous, so it's going to be a big challenge for us out at Kilmarnock."

Harley is bracing himself for a onslaught from the visitor's muscular pack when the teams clash in the Dark Blues' final autumn Test.

But he admits the plastic grass at Rugby Park may be greener for the nine-strong Warriors contingent in Vern Cotter's line-up given their familiarity with the similar 4G surface at Scotstoun.

He said: "We play on an artificial surface but quite a few teams have brought them in now so lots of players have experience on them. It definitely encourages a fast game, is good for the fans because it encourages attacking rugby and helps you get speed in the game so it's challenge for both teams to play with that but it's exciting as well.

"I love playing at Murrayfield but it's good to have that variety, a bit of something different. It's another challenge for us - different stadium, different surface.

"That's another battle between the two teams, who can adapt best to that stadium and that pitch. We get an advantage from being at home. I was on the bus tour earlier in the year when we went down and around the clubs in that area and we got massive support, so if we can get that out then that's an advantage we've got already.

"They've got a lot of big players in the pack, a lot of big, strong guys but as well as that they are very well drilled in the forward elements of the game - their scrum is very good and their maul is good as well, so it's a key battle area for us. They're going to want to take us on there and that could set the tone for the whole game.

"It's a real challenge for us. They have one of the best scrums in the world and that's the reason we are playing - to challenge ourselves against the best."

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