- Georgia wants to enter the Six Nations after beating Wales and Italy in 2022
- The Senior Six Nations, in men’s and women’s football, remains closed
- Georgia is under the management of former England assistant Richard Cockerill
The Six Nations have been urged to commit to further long-term expansion at all levels after confirming that Georgia and Portugal had been invited to join their Under-18 Championship.
Georgia and Portugal will play alongside the tournament’s established nations, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, in an eight-team men’s youth competition taking place in Italy and starting on March 30 this year.
It signals a willingness on the part of the Six Nations to broaden its horizons in age group rugby, something that is yet to happen on the full international stage.
The senior Six Nations, both men’s and women’s, remains closed.
But there are many who believe there should be a promotion and relegation game between the team that finishes last in the men’s tournament and the team that finishes first in Rugby Europe (the competition below the Six Nations) to see which team enters the tournament. major. group the following year.
Georgia wants to join the senior men’s Six Nations after beating Wales and Italy in 2022
Georgia are now under the management of former England assistant Richard Cockerill.
Georgia is pushing hard to be included in the senior men’s Six Nations. Last year they beat England in an under-20 international in Tbilisi.
Soso Tkemaladze, President of Georgia Rugby, said: ‘This is an important vote of confidence in Georgian Rugby and we are grateful to the Six Nations for the invitation.
‘We will show that we have earned the right to compete at this level and become a permanent fixture in the Six Nations. Throughout the rugby world everyone talks about the development of countries outside the traditional elites. Nations like Georgia need to compete against the best.
‘For us, the next step is to grant the same recognition to our Under-20s as soon as possible.
“Our results against top nations over a number of years show that our U20s are a match for anyone and should not have to wait any longer to get the opportunity they have earned.”
The Under-18 Six Nations is organized annually, so, for now, the participation of Georgia and Portugal is only until 2024.
Georgia’s senior men’s team beat Wales and Italy in 2022. They are now under the management of former England assistant Richard Cockerill.
Portugal, meanwhile, impressed at last year’s World Cup in France, claiming a famous victory over Fiji and playing an impressive brand of attacking rugby.
Portugal won its first World Cup match when it beat Fiji in last year’s tournament.
Portugal’s next match will be against England A on February 25.
England announced a 27-man provisional squad for the clash against Leicester, one that included five players with senior Test caps. Jamie Blamire, Nick Isiekwe, Tom Pearson, Harry Randall and Ollie Hassell-Collins were named, but there was no place for Gloucester No 8 Zach Mercer.
The team was selected by England senior coach Steve Borthwick and will be further boosted next week by players currently part of the Six Nations group preparing to face Scotland.
The match against Portugal will be the first time an England A team has played since 2016.
Conor O’Shea, England’s director of rugby performance, confirmed yesterday (THURSDAY) that they plan to play such matches three times each season in the future.