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Making history: New Zealand likely to play Georgia in Tbilisi

19 Mar 2017 - 11:13:00

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Agenda.ge,19 Mar 2017 - 11:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s national rugby team will have the opportunity to face off against the current world champion New Zealand in Tbilisi after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby - the international governing body for the sport – announced on Thursday that the global rugby calendar has finally be set for a period of 12 years starting from 2020 after years of negotiations.

The new international calendar guarantees tier-two nations, including Georgia, regular contact with the top teams in between World Cups: more specifically in July and November.

"The All Blacks playing Georgia and nations of their ilk more regularly could be on the table under World Rugby's new agreement”, New Zealand media reported after the new calendar was agreed upon.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union Steve Tew told journalists that there could even be an instance where the All Blacks play in Tbilisi.

"Of course. The final allocation of games, give we are talking 13 years away at the end of that calendar with a lot of time to go. So the actual allocation of games hasn't been sorted out and we'll work our way through that", Tew said.

"But we've got emerging nations. Germany beat Romania the other day in a World Cup qualifying game, so there's a bit of change going on up in that part of the world too".

Georgia is currently ranked 12th in the World Rugby rankings, three places ahead of Italy, a tire-one team.

Georgia has played New Zealand only once – during the latest Rugby World Cup. The game ended in a 43-10 victory for the All Blacks but the Lelos’ performance and a historic try scored against the world’s number one team, reignited the "Seven Nations” debate.

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