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

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."


From Belfast Telegraph