Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Jacques Burger and Mamuka Gorgodze preparing to lock horns in Exeter

Published 06/10/2015

Jacques Burger will lead Namibia into battle against Georgia
Jacques Burger will lead Namibia into battle against Georgia

Two World Cup supermen will hurtle into seismic collision as Namibia and Georgia take their last tournament turn - both battered, but unbowed and fiercely proud.

Titans, captains and statesmen Jacques Burger and Mamuka Gorgodze will lock horns in an enthralling back-row battle at Exeter's Sandy Park on Wednesday.

Neither global superstar will grace the World Cup's knock-out stages - but rather than wallow in self-pity, both men will put their bodies on the line for national service once more.

Namibia are still hunting their first-ever World Cup win, and facing Georgia will represent their 19th tilt for that elusive tournament victory.

"I've had to do a lot of interviews after losing but never once was I ashamed to be called Namibian," captain Burger tweeted ahead of the Georgia clash.

Saracens flanker Burger has had as many as six operations on just one knee, and countless other patch-up jobs on the rest of a racked body.

The 32-year-old tackling dervish still numbers among the world's most combative back-row forwards however, and has clearly lost none of his gritty edge.

Toulon loose-forward Gorgodze has once again proved Georgia's inspirational leader at this World Cup, Milton Haig's side's sole victory coming in an impressive 17-10 triumph over Tonga.

Gorgodze was named man of the match despite Georgia losing out 43-10 to New Zealand at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Friday.

The 31-year-old's humble look of surprise and honour on learning of his award lit up still further a dogged and commendable performance from Georgia against the defending champions.

Georgia have made wholesale changes to face Namibia, but Gorgodze is retained in the back-row.

Head coach Haig called on his players to show heart and courage against the All Blacks, and will repeat the demand one more time.

"I asked the boys during the week before the All Blacks game to play with a bit of pride, for their country, to show the rugby world what Georgian rugby is all about," said Haig.

"For large parts of the game that's what we did.

"I was a proud coach then, and I know my players can make me proud again."

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph