Head coach Levan Maisashvili, who masterminded wins over Italy and Wales in 2022, has selected a training group of 39 which will eventually be cut down to 33 to take to France.
Nine of the group started against Wales in Japan in the 2019 tournament, when Warren Gatland’s side won 43-14 in Aichi, and there are 14 survivors for the famous 13-12 triumph at Principality Stadium in November 2022.
Having first qualified in 2003, the Georgians have grown into the tournament and finished third in their pool in 2015 after wins over Tonga and Namibia. They meet Wales in Nantes on 7 October in the final round of pool matches.
Their squad is made up of 18 players who play for the Black Lion club based in Tbilisi. They play in the Rugby Europe Super Cup and are coached by the national team’s head coach, Maisashvili.
“The minimum goal is to win at least two games, but we will fight for victory against all four opponents. We have an ambitious plan and everything is possible,” said Maisashvili.
— Georgian Rugby (@GeorgianRugby) June 19, 2023
Two players compete in the English Premiership at Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs, while now fewer than 19 players play in France. A dozen of those were at Top 14 clubs last season – Lyon, Bayonne, Pau, Toulon, Montpellier, Racing 92, Stade Francais and Brive – with the remainder playing in ProD2 at Aurillac, Montauban, Biarritz Olympique and Nevers.
Luka Khorbaladze is the only uncapped player in the squad. He is currently in South Africa playing with the Georgian side at the World Rugby U20 Championships.
Maisashvili will have three games in which to get his side battle hardened ahead of their opening game in France against Australia at Stade de France on 9 September. The Lelos face Romania in Tbilisi on Saturday 12 August, USA at the same venue on Saturday 19 August and then head to Edinburgh to play Scotland on Saturday 26 August.
Eddie Jones, meanwhile, has expanded the number of overseas based players in his Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship to five from three as he prepares the Australians for their World Cup campaign. He has named Michael Hooper and James Slipper as co-captains of the 34-strong squad named for their first game on 8 July.
There are eight uncapped players, among them Toulouse Top 14 winner Richie Arnold. He jons Quade Cooper among the extra overseas contingent joining centre Samu Kerevi, winger Marika Koroibete and lock Will Skelton.
Georgia Rugby World Cup Training Squad 2023
Props: Nika Abuladze (Exeter Chiefs), Guram Gogichashvili (Racing 92), Mikheil Nariashvili (Black Lion), Beka Gigashvili (Toulon), Guram Papidze (Pau), Luka Japaridze (Montpellier)
Hookers: Shalva Mamukashvili (Black Lion), Giorgi Chkoidze (Black Lion), Tengiz Zamtaradze (Black Lion), Luka Nioradze (Aurillac)
Locks: Kote Mikoutadze (Bayonne, Nodar Cheishvili (Black Lion), Lasha Jayani (Nevers), Lado Chachanidze (Nevers), Mikheil Babunashvili (Black Lion),
Loose Forwards: Beka Saghinadze (Lyon), Beka Gorgadze (Pau), Giorgi Tsutskiridze (Stade Français), Tornike Jalaghonia (Biarritz Olympique), Otar Giorgadze (Montauban), Mikheil Gachechiladze (Black Lion), Luka Ivanishvili (Black Lion)
Scrum Halves: Vasil Lobzhanidze (Brive), Gela Aprasidze (Bayonne), Tengiz Peranidze (Black Lion)
Outside Halves: Mikheil Alania (Aurillac), Tedo Abzhandadze (Montauban), Luka Matkava (Black Lion)
Centres: Merab Sharikadze (Black Lion), Tornike Kakhoidze (Black Lion), Demur Tapladze (Black Lion), Giorgi Kveseladze (Gloucester)
Back Three: Akaki Tabutsadze (Black Lion), Aleksandre Todua (Black Lion), Mirian Modebadze (Black Lion), Otar Lashkhi (Black Lion), Davit Niniashvili (Lyon), Lasha Khmaladze (Black Lion), Luka Khorbaladze (Lyon)