Georgia to play in Eight Nations rugby tournament, face England

  • The Lelos will face England, Wales and Ireland in their pool for the new competition. Photo via Georgian Rugby., 8 Sep 2020 - 15:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian national rugby team is set to play in Eight Nations, a new competition designed to replace autumn test matches, and face England among their competitors.

With official confirmation of the team's inclusion expected in the coming weeks, Britain's The Telegraph reported that the Lelos are expected to replace Japan in the tournament after the latter's withdrawal due to logistical complications of air travel, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia, Samoa and Tonga were some of the back-up options for organisers to replace the Japanese team, with their choice now reportedly narrowed down.

The Georgian team will face England, in their first non-World Cup fixture, at Twickenham on November 21, and also face Ireland and Wales in their pool. The other group is comprised of Scotland, France, Italy and Fiji.

The Telegraph news story also said the Rugby Football Union was working to enable fans to attend tournament matches held at Twickenham, with RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney estimating a potential capacity of around 40,000 spectators after implementing reductions for safety.

Eight Nations was devised following a cancellation of usual annual calendar's autumn test games, as travel restrictions prevented southern hemisphere teams from taking flights to Europe.