Georgia’s Nika Amashukeli will continue his rise to the top of the rugby refereeing by being given oversight of a Four Nations game between New Zealand and Argentina this summer, the Georgian Rugby Union announced on Friday.
Amashukeli will take to the pitch in Christchurch on August 27 to judge the fixture of the premier tournament of the Southern Hemisphere, before working as assistant referee in a second game between All Blacks and Los Pumas on September 3.
???? Just wow | Nika Amashukeli to become not just first Georgian, but first referee from Tier 2 Nation to officiate @AllBlacks vs @lospumas test???? ????#ჩვენირეფი #კაირეფი pic.twitter.com/fcaTVEpLUm— Georgian Rugby (@GeorgianRugby) July 21, 2022
During the summer series in July, the Georgian referee was assigned to two games between the South Africa and Wales, and credited the experience in subsequent comments.
It was an unforgettable three weeks of my life. South Africa is a truly special country when it comes to rugby. The rivalry between two rugby nations – South Africa and Wales – has always been, is and will be outstanding. […] It is a great honour for me to be a part of all this”, Amashukeli said in comments.
Amashukeli began his career as a player and was selected for the junior national team of Georgia before having to abandon his aspirations following an injury. The athlete switched his focus and began training as a referee, receiving support from Georgia Rugby Union in the new endeavour.
Last year, he became the first referee from a Tier 2 rugby country to judge a game between Tier 1 teams by refereeing a fixture between Wales and Canada at Cardiff's Principality Stadium. The achievement followed his becoming the first Georgian referee to be appointed to an Under-20 Six Nations game involving England and Italy in 2019.