Georgia’s notable prowess in rugby union partly derives from the popularity of a traditional Georgian game called ‘Lelo’, which bears many similarities to rugby.
Indeed, today the Georgian national team is nicknamed the ‘Lelos’, and in the native language a a try is also known as a Lelo.
Georgia, who are ranked above Russia in the IRB world rankings - some feat in itself - have appeared in two previous World Cups, in 2003 and 2007. They lost all four of their pool matches in 2003, but gave notice that they were an emerging force in world rugby.
In 2007, Georgia picked up its first ever World Cup win, a 30-0 thrashing of Namibia. But their finest hour came eleven days earlier, when they scared the life out of Ireland, before going down 14-10. It’s probably too much to expect that Georgia can beat either Argentina or England in this tournament, but Scotland and Romania would be wise not to underestimate the Lelos, who boast a particularly powerful front eight.
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