TOYOTA – Georgia needs to play "at least four matches" each year against top sides in order to tackle them competitively when Rugby World Cups come around every four years.
That's the view of the team coach, New Zealander Milton Haig, who says the gap to sides like Wales will remain too big to close unless Georgia gets into the Six Nations. He was speaking after Georgia lost 43-14 to Grand Slam winner Wales, which led 29-0 at halftime and scored the fastest try of the tournament so far after two minutes. By the time Georgia got its act together, the game was long gone.
Haig has been in charge of Georgia for eight years and he's been shouting his claim for a long time. But still isn't sure he's being heard.
"I've constantly been beating this drum. I've voiced my opinion a number of times to world rugby, directly and via the media. Will there be any change? Not sure in the long run," Haig said. "A constant competition like the Six Nations is really beneficial for us if we're going to compete with teams like Wales."
Georgia has won eight of the last nine Rugby Europe Championships, the next level below the Six Nations. But last November when it met Italy, usually the worst team in the Six Nations, the Italians won 28-17. Scotland was the first tier one side ever to visit Georgia, last month. Scotland won 44-10.