Scotland’s national rugby team will become the first Tier 1 side to travel to Georgia for a test game against the hosts this summer.
The two teams will spar in the run-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup with two matches, the first of which will be held on Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi.
The Lelos will host their Scottish counterparts on the capital city’s principal stadium on August 24, before a return fixture in Edinburgh in the first week of September.
History will be made at #DinamoArena as @Scotlandteam will be the 1st Tier 1 team ever to tour Georgia for test match Georgia vs Scotland | 24/08/2019 | Dinamo Arena Scotland vs Georgia | 6/7/09/2019 | Murrayfieldhttps://t.co/bqBZG7Jbog#RWC2019#500DTGpic.twitter.com/evL8ZYIRHp— Georgian Rugby Union (@GeorgianRugby) May 9, 2018
History will be made as it will be the first time Scotland will have played here in Georgia and the first ever Tier 1 Nation to play a match on Georgian home soil”, Georgia’s head coach Milton Haig told reporters.
Georgia are currently placed 12th in the World Rugby rankings and are a country on the rise. Playing against them will be a good test for us ahead of our pool matches at the Rugby World Cup”, was the reaction of Gregor Townsend, Haig’s counterpart for Scotland.
Origins for the fixture date back to 2016, when the Scottish side hosted the Lelos in Kilmarnock and expressed their interest in travelling to Georgia to face the emerging team headed by Haig.
Georgian players first played Scotland at the 2011 World Cup in a match that ended with a score 15-6.
The Lelos will play two fixtures against Greg Townsend’s players in August and September. Photo: Giorgi Danelia/Georgian Rugby.
The second of the two fixtures played so far between the sides was the Kilmarnock match, where the hosts were again victorious 43-16.
The Lelos have been looking to book test matches against top-tier opposition on the back of their success over the last 15 years. This has included pushing for a place in the Six Nations, a major European tournament.
While the elite competition remains closed for teams like Georgia and Romania, Haig and his management team have agreed matches and trainings with high-ranking sides, including a session with England in February.
Georgia will face Australia as well as Wales among other competitors in their 2019 World Cup pool.