'Georgia: Rugby's Next Superpower': See first episode of World Rugby documentary [VIDEO]

The first episode of the documentary starts its story with Georgia's World Cup debut against England in 2003. Screenshot from the film.

Agenda.ge, 13 Aug 2019 - 16:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

World Rugby, the international governing body of the game, has released the first episode of Georgia: Rugby's Next Superpower, a documentary series tracing the nation's "meteoric" rise to prominence on the international rugby stage.

Released on Monday, the film follows the explosion of popularity of the sport in the country and the emergence of its national team and organisation "from obscurity to prominence in just over a decade".

Taking Georgia's Rugby World Cup debut in 2003 as the starting point, the first episode of the documentary series then goes back to the origins of the sport in the country, introducing viewers to leloburti, a similar game that served as historical background to rugby on the local scene.

Claude Saurel, the team's former head coach who led the Lelos' rise on the international stage in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, is seen speaking in the episode about the team's debut in the World Cup against England, as well as their praiseworthy performance against South Africa in the same tournament.

Milton Haig, Georgia's current head coach, also offers his impressions on why rugby has suited the Georgian sports mentality, citing combative spirit as a background on which the success has been based.

The film also travels to Georgia to speak to local team founders, governing body professionals and sports historians to hear about foundations of professional rugby in Soviet Georgia.

Producers of the episode also talk to people like Mamuka Gorgodze, a former player and an exceptionally popular figure for fans in the country, about the introduction of Georgian players into the French national league under Saurel, which laid foundations for the fast-paced development of Georgian rugby.