Rugby Thoughts Ep10 – Georgia in the 6 Nations?

I was asked by TheRugbyOffloadBlog for my thoughts on Georgia joining the 6 Nations so I jumped in-front of the camera to give them.

Let me know your thoughts on the topic below and if there is something about rugby you would like my thoughts on please just ask.

BTW you can watch/read more of my Rugby Thoughts here.

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7 Comments

  1. Don’t like that. I do think promotion/relegation is the way to go. Have a 4 team 2nd tier (Geo, Rom, Rus & Spa). Like Arg & Jap, base their national teams on a single Euro club team. Top of 2nd tier play off for promotion with bottom of 6N. Yes, you’d need to structure it so that demotion wouldn’t be financially punitive but it can’t stay a cosy closed shop forever.

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    1. I can’t see the current 6 Nations countries ever agreeing to promotion and relegation. The only international competition that I can think that uses that is the Davis Cup which has struggled to remain relevant.

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  2. I don’t disagree with your proposal but I have a question.

    Except for the fact that they pay English-speaking journalists to hype them up, could you please tell me why do you think Georgia deserves to be in the Six Nations?

    They are the only Tier 2 nation in the world that has NEVER won a match against a Tier 1. They had 5 chances in the last 3 years and lost all of them by a clear margin, they weren’t close even once.

    Sure, they won 2 matches at the World Cup. One was a very lucky win against Tonga in a match where Georgia was under siege the entire 80 minutes, had only 28% posession, spent 29% of the match in their own 22 and had to make 201 tackles. The other was a win against Tier 3 nation Namibia by only one point.

    Economically, they are a poor country in the middle of nowhere. Yes, they get 40k or 50k people in the stadium for important games but tickets cost like 1$ so there’s no money to be made. Despite the popularity of rugby in the country, they were unable to sell the TV rights to any TV station in Georgia and gave them away for free to the state broadcaster.

    They play ugly, unattractive rugby, based on the strength of their forwards and nothing else. Their backs are the worst of any Top 20 rugby nation.

    So, what exactly have they done to deserve to be included? Italy had to wait many years for an invite, even if they had wins vs Tier 1 and a much larger and prosperous economy.

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    1. I think what grates the most is that there is no pathway for them to reach T1 status. They have won the European Nations Cup for the last 6 years running and 8 out of the last 9 years. How are they supposed to progress further without more T1 exposure?

      I agree with you about their style of play and that probably needs a domestic professional team in something like the Pro12 to improve. At the moment their forwards are playing full-time professionally overseas whilst their backs are playing semi-professionally at home. Until they have a set of backs that train and play full-time that’s not going to change.

      PS I’ve not been paid for this view or this article 🙂

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      1. Lo, I know you weren’t paid but some dudes are paid to constantly hype’em up.

        They are winning the European Nations Cup because it’s a useless competition and none of the other nations actually have their full-strength teams available. Take a look at the Romanian and Spanish squads when they visited Tbilisi this year, most starters were missing, pretty much their A teams.

        Besides, remove Georgia from the European Nations Cup and Romania will win in for 10 years in a row. Remove Romania and it will be Russia or Spain and so on. What’s needed is promotion-relegation, a chance for any of them to go up.

        I agree, they need a path to Tier 1 but so do all the other Tier 2 nations and many of those deserve it more than Georgia does. Japan beat SA and almost won in Cardiff, Canada almost beat Italy at the World cup, Romania was beaten by Italy by only 10 points despite not playing a single Tier 1 test in the last 10 years.

        So, I repeat, Georgia is the only Tier 2 nation in the world that has NEVER won a match against a Tier 1 and weren’t even competitve in one, ever. With their very limited skills and gameplan, I doubt they can improve too soon.

        They should get more Tier 1 tests (all Tier 2 nations should) but Six Nations inclusion would be very unrealistic at the moment.

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        1. Rightly or wrongly Georgia and Japan look like the next 2 T2 teams ready to step up with their automatic qualification for the next Rugby World Cup. With Japan at least you can see them being added to the Rugby Championship in the not too distant future but for Georgia or other European teams you can’t see how they can progress

          With Canada and the USA I don’t know what’s the answer there. It will be interesting to see how the Americas Rugby Championship develops. Obviously it’s got a couple of even lower teams in it so starting from a lower level but hopefully that can help to give them both more games and better games with Argentina in clouded in there.

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