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TBILISI, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The Georgian national rugby team will play home match against Russia on Saturday at the central sports arena in Tbilisi as part of the 2012-2014 European Nations Cup.
The match will be held at the Dinamo Arena, which has a 60,000-seat capacity, and, according to organizers, most of the tickets had been already sold out.
Reigning European champions, Georgia currently leads in the European Nations Cup first division and if the team beats Russia on Saturday it will secure its berth in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be held in England between September 18 and October 31.
Russia and Georgia faced off each other 16 times since 1993 and the Georgian team won all of their rugby encounters. Last time the teams played each other in Russia’s resort city of Sochi in February of 2013 and Georgia defeated Russia 23-9.
Player of the Russian squad Stanislav Selsky told journalists that “it would be hard to predict the result of the match.”
“The Russian team is tuned for the good game, but everyone knows well that Georgia is a very strong contender,” he said.
Georgian news website WorldSport.ge cited Milton Haig, the head coach of the Georgian squad, that the team’s players “were preparing for the whole week and we must play our best game on Saturday.”
“Playing Russia is always great event for us - we know what it means for our fans and country,” Haig was quoted as saying. “Saturday’s match will unite all Georgian athletes and I know they will support us.”
Saturday’s game will be the third in a row away match for Russia, also known as The Bears, since the start of the year. The team played Spain in January and Romania earlier this month.
Georgia, known as The Lelos, played its previous match on February 8 in Lisbon, where they defeated Portugal 34-9.