Georgia make minor changes for Fiji

Date published: June 23 2016

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Georgia have named their strongest available side to face Fiji in their final Pacific tour Test in Suva on Friday.

The matchday squad features Merab Kvirikashvili and David Kacharava, both players are set to earn their 95th internationals cap. 

34-year-old lock Giorgi Chkhaidze, who along with Kvirikashvili participated in four World Cups, will win his 94th cap.

One change in the backline sees Tamaz Mchedlidze missing out on selection as he is replaced by Giorgi Pruidze on the right wing.

Props Irakli Mirtskhulava and Karlen Asieshvili replaces Anton Peikrishvili and Zurab Zhvania in the front row respectively and will pack down next to Worcester Warriors hooker Jaba Bregvadze.

New Zealand-born Georgia head coach Milton Haig praised the conditioning of his players after being able to select his strongest available squad to face the Pacific Nations Cup champions.

"We have named our strongest available team to take on the challenge of Fiji," Haig said. 

"It is fantastic we are able to do this after 2 very physical games and it’s a great testament to our Medical and Strength and Conditioning staff and the excellent work they do to keep our players available for selection.  

"Fiji will be a great challenge for us and we understand what it will take to win this match, a lot of hard work and self-belief. 

"However we have discussed this as a group and everyone is ready to give everything they have for the whole match so that we have a chance to write 'history' once again for Georgian Rugby." 

Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Giorgi Pruidze, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili (c), 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 3 Irakli Mirtskhulava, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Zurab Zhvania, 18 Nikoloz Khatiashvili, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Vazha Khutsishvili, 22 Lasha Malaghuradze, 23 Saba Shubitidze

Date: Friday, June 24
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 15:00 local (03:00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), James Leckie (Australia)

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