Georgia coach expects 'more surprises' from Wales than England

·2-min read
Recall - Georgia scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze starts against Wales after coming off the bench against England
Recall - Georgia scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze starts against Wales after coming off the bench against England

Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili said Thursday that he believes Wales will have "way more options in attack" compared to England when the struggling sides meet for their Autumn Nations Cup clash this weekend.

Six Nations champions England started the tournament with a 40-0 rout of Georgia at Twickenham last weekend, but only one of their six tries came from a backline move, with hooker Jamie George grabbing a hat-trick off the back of rolling mauls.

Wales, meanwhile, suffered a 32-9 defeat by Ireland in Dublin -- their sixth succesive loss -- and coach Wayne Pivac has changed 13 members of his starting XV for Saturday's match in Llanelli.

But a wary Maisashvili said: "Though they don't look as good as they used to, we should not let ourselves be misguided by their latest results.

"They have way more options in attack compared to England and we should expect more surprises in static phases, so we have to think more about defence too."

Maisashvili has made five changes to his side, in what is a rare opportunity for European second-tier kings Georgia to play two leading nations on successive weekends outside of a World Cup.

Scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze, who plays for French club Brive, starts instead of Gela Aprasidze.

Merab Sharikadze continues as captain, the centre paired with Giorgi Kveseladze in midfield.

Elsewhere, Sandro Todua comes off the bench to start at left wing.

Up front, hooker Jaba Bregvadze has been recalled, with Kote Mikautadze in the second row.

And there is a change in the back-row, with Otar Giorgadze joining Beka Saghinadze and Beka Gorgadze.

Georgia (15-1)

Lasha Khmaladze; Akaki Tabutsadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Merab Sharikadze (capt), Sandro Todua; Tedo Abzhandadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Beka Gorgadze, Beka Saghinadze, Otar Giorgadze; Kote Mikautadze, Grigor Kerdikoshvili; Beka Gigashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Mikheil Nariashvili

Replacements: Giorgi Chkoidze, Guram Gogichashvili, Lexo Kaulashvili, Lasha Jaiani, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Gela Aprasidze, Demur Tapladze, Tamaz Mchedlidze

Coach: Levan Maisashvili (GEO)

jdg/td