“Our performance in South America was a resounding success, now we would gear up for the Challenge Cup” – Levan Maisashvili, Head Coach of Black Lion and Georgian National Rugby Team
I am profoundly satisfied with our performance in the South American tournament. The 40-day competition served us as intensive training program and undeniably paid off for us as preparation for the World Cup. With no further games scheduled for “Black Lion” until fall, this indeed was a perfect opportunity to keep ourselves in a good shape. Our victories in the first two matches demonstrated the team’s excellent abilities to perform on a high level. The rest of the matches provided us an invaluable chance to experiment, making frequent changes and introduce new players to the field.
The “Black Lion” team is comprised with at least half of the national team squad, the rest of the national team members are legionaries and are currently well engaged in various European tournaments, thus having intensive preparation opportunity for the World cup. So the South American trip gave the “Black Lion” part of the National Team players an unique opportunity for preparation too.
I am confident to state that we are ready for the World Cup and equally so for the Challenge Cup. We are hoping that we will be given an opportunity to bring our value to the European tournaments as well. Unlike the Rugby Europe Super Cup, a stage that we have completely dominated and exhausted its potential for us, participating in the higher lever European Competitions will certainly provide us a significant opportunity to grow and strengthen further.
We plan to continue our participation in the South American tournament, The teams from Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and the South American national team are great and skilled opposition who offer a distinct style of play from European rugby—faster, stronger, and almost exclusively on the brink of penalties. This has provided a relatively new experience for us, adding fresh skills to our assets. It has made us stronger physically and mentally, it was really priceless experience.
This time of our SA visit, our participation in the tournament was unofficial. However, we hope that in the future our participation in this tournament will become official.
I am looking forward to the time when we will be granted participation in the Challenge Cup, which, I believe will be an ideal platform for Lelos to express themselves and further develop their skills that bring higher results, this also will let us to expand our game globally.