On day four of RWC 2019 there is to be one match. It is to be a Pool D fixture with Georgia and Wales beginning their respective campaigns. The match is to be history-making as never before has this fixture taking place at a Rugby World Cup.
Georgia go into the match without captain Merab Sharikadze. The center is still to fully recover from injury which sees loose head prop Mikheil Nariashvili named as the skipper. He will have experience supporting him with David Kacharava and Mamuka Gorgodze playing in their fourth RWCs.
Nariashvili will be joined by Shalva Mamukashvili, and Beka Gigashvili in the front-row. The trio will give their side a strong platform for the likes of Gorgodze and N8 Beka Gorgadze to work from.
In the backs Vasil Lobzhanidze, and Tedo Abzhandadze combine for a young halves combination. Despite their ages they are proven performers who have the means to make Georgia a superior prospect to that from prior RWCs.
Wales have named a very powerful line-up. Head Coach Warren Gatland has gone for first choice which sees Alun Wyn Jones captaining a pack with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, and Tomas Francis in the front-row; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, and Josh Navidi in the back-row and Jake Ball joining the captain in locking the scrum.
In the backs Gareth Davies, and Dan Biggar have been named as the starting halves. Outside Biggar will be New Zealand import Hadleigh Parkes who is to partner Jonathan Davies in the centers.
Completing the starting formation will be a back-three full of flair with Josh Adams on the left wing; George North on the right wing; and Liam Williams at fullback.
There has only ever been one prior test match between Georgia and Wales. It took place in Cardiff, Wales in November 2017. The fixture was highly competitive with the Eastern Europeans almost sealing a last minute draw. Wales won 13-6.
In the lead-up to RWC 2019 Wales were No 1 in the world for a week. Such heights are demonstrative of the level of the team. Impressive results as well as excellent players and coaching staff place Wales as the outright favorites to defeat Georgia. Yet with Rob Howley sent home from the World Cup Georgia may yet be able to cause a major upset. ARN projects Wales to win by 11 points.
RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED
WAL (on 87.32 points) -vs- GEO (on 73.29 points) in a RWC match
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|If WAL win by 1-15 points||0.000||87.32||73.29||No|
|If WAL win by more than 15||0.000||87.32||73.29||No|
|If result is a draw||2.000||85.32||75.29||No|
|If GEO win by 1-15 points||4.000||83.32||77.29||No|
|If GEO win by more than 15||6.000||81.32||79.29||No|
1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Josh Navidi, 9 Gareth Davies, 10 Dan Biggar, 11 Josh Adams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Jonathan Davies, 14 George North, 15 Liam Williams
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Leigh Halfpenny
1 Mikheil Nariashvili (capt.), 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 3 Beka Gigashvili, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 6 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 8 Beka Gorgadze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 11 Giorgi Kveseladze, 12 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 David Kacharava, 14 Miriani Modebadze, 15 Soso Matiashvili
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Shalva Sutiashvili, 20 Beka Saginadze, 21 Otari Giorgadze, 22 Gela Aprasidze, 23 Lasha Khmaladze
Date: Monday, September 23
Kick-off: 19:15 local (03:15 Pacific, 06:15 Eastern, 07:15 Rio de la Plata)
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Toyota
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistants: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) & Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
Broadcasts: ESPN 3 (Latin/South American), NBC Sports Gold (USA), TSN 1/4 (Canada)