Last Saturday, in the central match of the 9th tour of Top 14 French first elite division, in which “Clermont” hosted “Toulon”, there were four Georgian legionaries in the teams at the beginning of the match. This fact means a lot, later, two of them Levan Chilachava and Mamuka Gorgodze Georgian rugby players of “Toulon” entered in the symbolic team. Another Georgian rugby player Mikheil Nariashvili of “Montpellier” also entered in the symbolic team of the tour.
Top 14 French first elite division is one of the best European and world club tournaments where the current champions of the world play. Besides them, young stars, finalist Australians, Walsh, English, Irish, South Africans, Argentinese top-class players play there. In addition, rugby players of Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Scotland and Italy participate in this tournament. It is very big achievement when 3 Georgian rugby players enter in the top 15 symbolic team and it is not the first occasion when Georgian do that.
Mamuka Gorgodze is the one from Georgian rugby players who entered in the tour’s symbolic team most times, as for the mentioned match, he was named as the best player. Becoming player of “Toulon” which is one of the best teams of the world is already a big achievement. In the poll of www.rugby-transferts.com, which aims to find out the best player of the 9th tour of Top 14, Georgian rugby player is leader with 40% there!
Worldsport.ge contacted 31-year-old “Lelos” according to it, but it is very difficult to talk to Mamuka Gorgodze about his success. In such case he becomes very shy, tries to avoid some questions related to his achievements with some methods and it complicates the interview:
“For me the most important is when you feel such love from people and fans in such surveys, but I have no explanation what caused it. A lot of stars play in France, much stronger than me, who really are the best”.
Mamuka is really the most distinguished among the best rugby players and that’s why he has such love and recognition from French fans. Gogrgodze used to have matches, where he was not distinguished but even in such cases, he does his best and French fans also appraise it. Besides devoted playing, his playing style is very qualified and in such case it is very difficult for everyone to compete him.
In the historical match against “Clermont”, Gorgodze the organizer of the attack of “Toulon” does not agree with this opinion and offers his opinion about this. Besides this, he proudly talks about four Georgian players who participated in this match:
The match of “Clermont” and “Toulon” is considered as the same “classic” in Top 14 as the match of “Real” Madrid and “Barcelona” in the Spanish Championship. It is very cool feeling, when at once four Georgians play in the central match of one of the strongest Championships. Unfortunately, Vito Kolelishvili was not in this match. We prepared for the World Cup so that now we all are in top form and it is not surprising that we were on the field. It is not our, mine or four players recognition, but this is the progress and the recognition of the entire Georgian rugby.
As for the game, we had won it easily. however, “Clermont” is very strong team with good players and structure. I cannot explain what happened to them that day. Perhaps, they had some sort of psychological barrier and could not overcome it.
As for the fact that the game with “Clermont” was built on me, it is incorrect. Individually all the players are strong and anyone can undertake the match. As for me, every game is equal to final and always try to do my best. The competition is so great here that if you do not approve your advantage in every training, you will easily lose the place in lineup”.
The club tries to achieve maximum result in Top 14 and participated of many Georgian rugby players is one of the reason of it. But in spite of this the team started competition in European cups very unsuccessfully and in the first match against “Wasps” lost the match without any chance. Maa Nonu a star of “All Blacks” a world champion joined the team, he will have a debut in the next match top of Top 14:
“Nonu is not the first and the last star who played for “Toulon”. Before him, there were Johnny Wilkinson, Bakis Bota, Tana Umaga and many others. So, nobody was surprised when Nonu came”.
Georgian rugby player who play in France play a great role in the current condition of Georgian national team, achievements and progress. But in the last period, The French has limit over the legionaries, the clubs are obliged to have French players in its half squid (in the future this number will be more than the half team). This will do harm for Georgian players whose most part go to France for improving his mastership. It is very interesting to listen to Gorgodze’s opinion about this:
“The players who have been in France, we have such a big name already that I do not think we will lack anything by this restriction, but in the future it will become a problem for Georgian players. The Georgian Rugby Union must think about this issue.
It is impossible to talk about Gorgodze and do not remember World Cup in 2011 and 2015. Totally, in the matches of these two tournaments, he was named four times as the best player of the match and recognition against Romania and Tonga is not so bright in comparison with these achievements. As you remember Mamuka was named as the best player against England and world champion New Zealand in 2011. Georgian rugby player was very impressive at World Cup 2015 and he took his place in most teams according to the poll. Some of the editorials gave him a title of the best player of the tournament in advance, finally, “Wolrd Rugby” gave a official recognition to Gorgodze for impressive playing and gave him one place among 15 players in world symbolic team.
Georgian national team showed historical result and as a result of two victories took place among 12 best teams and guaranteed the place in World Cup 2019 in advance. But finally “Lelos” could not overcome group stage and after two victories lost two matches with a solid difference, but Mamuka Gorgodze was so great that no one paid attention to the failures and took the place among 14 best players of the world.
“What can I say? I could not even dream of being recognized as the best player of the match against New Zealand and especially making though to the world team. I really did not expect this. It was incredible. I am comforting myself that no one would recognize a Georgian undeservedly. I am not a New Zealander, or representative of any great teams and the specialist would not have particular sympathy towards me.
In my opinion, being a captain of the national team helped Gorgodze in his good game at 2015 World Cup. Mamuka admitted it. I think he was an ideal leader, captain and all his action proved it. Foreign journalists and organizers have noticed his leadership. Mamuka stated the following about being a captain:
“I played under a lot of great captain’s leadership and now, when I was captain at the World Cup, I can say: when you are not a captain, before the game you always think how you will play, if everything will go well. But when you are captain, then you must be the best. Being a captain is a huge responsibility, you have to be an example for everyone.”
The Nations Cup starts in February 2016 and the fans will be able to see the live of Georgian team’s play. However, most likely, the team will be composed with young players and we will not be able to see Gorgodze until November.
“It is expected that the coaches will give a chance to young players at the Nations Cup. In the third line we have very good players and I am sure they will do their best. As for me, I will probably play in November”.