NZ Herald: “Rugby World Cup: 10 Things you need to know about Georgia”

The All Blacks perform the haka before every match; captain Richie McCaw (c) flanked by his team. Photo by, Oct 02, 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia

Tonight’s historic rugby match between Georgia and current world champions New Zealand is going to be an occasion celebrated in both hemispheres.

Since the Rugby World Cup draw was announced about two years ago, Georgia has prepared eagerly for tonight’s clash. It will be the first time The All Blacks of New Zealand face off against the Lelos of Georgia.

Much has been written about the All Blacks in newspapers and websites all over the globe. But what about the Lelos?

In a written and video article for the website of New Zealand’s national newspaper – the New Zealand Herald - the All Blacks conceded they didn’t know much about the Georgian side, except for the fact their captain Mamuka Gorgodze was an extremely talented and tough player.

The website compiled a 10-point information piece about Georgia to let its readers, and the world, learn more about Georgia before tonight’s clash.

Here are some of the points:

  • The nickname Lelos comes from lelo burti, a traditional Georgian sport similar to rugby which goes back to pagan times.
  • The team's emblem is called a borjgali, a symbol of the sun with seven rotating wings. A Christian symbol in means eternal movement and life.
  • Georgia have a 61.53% win record - 109 from 182. That's better than Group A's Grim Reaper trio of England (57.39%), Wales (53.83%) and Australia (52.65%).
  • The All Blacks have Eden Park and Georgia have the National Stadium in Tbilisi where they have a formidable record going 21 straight tests without defeat between 2004 and 2012.
  • They have been at war with Russia on a number of occasions but Georgia own them on the rugby field having won 17 of their 19 encounters since 1993.
  • For Georgia's 23-man squad to face the All Blacks, every forward has an overseas contact, while the majority of the backs play at Georgian clubs.

Read the full article here: