The French dream of Georgian Beka Gorgadze

Neo-Palois Becca Gorgadze, arguably the most French of the Georgian third line, has a boundless admiration for the Top 14 since childhood, as opposed to the blues on Sunday in Bordeaux, the vice-captain of “Lelos”.

In a letter written in 2005 and recently dug up by his mother, Gorgadze, a footballer called his older brother, and in particular his cousin Salomon Karukhnishvili, a former U20 rugby international, the idea of ​​developing into the French championship. Write down your goal.

He was then 9 years old and discovered rugby at the Caucasian ground of Rustavi, 25 km from the capital Tbilisi. His dream continued ten years later during a youth tournament in Poland, where he was spotted by a French agent.

While still a junior, Gorgadze left the Georgian National Academy and landed at a Pro D2 club, Mont-de-Marson, where he finished his training and within a few months learned French so that he could communicate more easily. .

“When I arrived in Mont-de-Marson, I was told that I could become a JIF (player from French training) and why not play for France, but that was never my goal,” he told AFP.

“Georgia is a small country, but we are proud of what we have and what we are,” he adds. “When things are not going well in the country, we can at least bring some happiness to our families. That too is a matter of pride for us.”

A fan of Mamuka Gorgodz, former captain of Montpellier and Toulon, her almost name caught the eye of Georgian coaches in June 2015. He played two preliminary matches for the World Cup in the United Kingdom, against Uruguay and Italy, for which it is ultimately not retained.

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His slaughter at Landes, despite a previous season polluted by ankle injuries, was still overshadowed by the Bordeaux-Bagles who hired him in 2018.

– Tournament, second dream –

His childhood dream, the Top 14, becomes a reality, and his ascent to the Georgia team (31 caps) continues while the rugby tricolor kid considers “a historic moment” while he awaits the Blues on Sunday.

“The France-Georgia match has only happened once before (64-7 for the Blues in the 2007 World Cup). This is a team with players we know by heart”, Lar Gorgadze, aware that it was a new one in the process. The move is to have Lelos recognized internationally.

At the moment, it is hardly until the World Cup that Georgians have the right to face major countries (Argentina and New Zealand in 2015, Australia and Fiji in 2019).

Last year, the Covid-19 crisis miraculously allowed them to replace Japan, compete in the Autumn Nations Cup and challenge Ireland, England and Wales.

The third line said, “For us to participate in this competition was more important than a World Cup.” “It made us progress and develop”.

If they still have to qualify for the World Cup-2023, the Georgians, without competition or in the Six Nations B tournament for almost five years, but accelerated by the world champions of South Africa in Pretoria (40–9) in early July. Hope to be permanently invited to major international events.

And why don’t the victims take Italy’s place in the tournament? “We have been talking about it for some time, but it will be difficult for us to use it for commercial reasons,” explains Gorgadze. “We probably want to participate in the tournament through a system of climbing”.

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So this match against France is a golden opportunity for him and his teammates, on the condition “to show (their) a better face, (not) to be a spectator”.

“We dream of tournaments, but unless we have done something, it is difficult,” admitted the player from the Pau section, who has not yet fulfilled the dream at the age of 25.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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