June International Tours

Wallabies urged to recruit young Georgian props

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The Australian Rugby Union has been urged to recruit young front-rowers from international rugby minnows Georgia, reports said Friday.


Former Wallabies’ World Cup winning assistant coach Tim Lane, who will coach Georgia for the next four years, believes the east Europeans have a depth of powerful young Georgian front-rowers to improve Australia’s maligned scrum.


“I go to a lot of the club games over there and there are under-18 props who are huge, enormous kids … very, very strong,” Lane told The Australian newspaper.


“Props are not a problem for us in Georgia. We could probably go down to our 10th or 12th prop and play them in our Six Nations tournament and they’d be very strong.


“I said to (former ARU high performance manager) Pat Howard, you should come over and look at these kids because it’s a great opportunity for a kid to come to a country like Australia and add value to where we have struggled a little bit in certain areas.


“It has had such a proud tradition of scrummagers. The only players who played in France 10 to 15 years ago were front-rowers. They wouldn’t look at backs or backrowers.”


Lane, who assisted coach Rod McQueen when Australia won the 1999 World Cup, said Georgia’s tradition of wrestling and weightlifting was largely responsible for the country’s front-row strength.


Lane said he plans to take Georgia on a tour of Australia next June.


“We are going to play (Super 14 teams) the Western Force and hopefully the Queensland Reds and Australia A,” he said.


“They (the ARU) were very happy to bring us out and promote Georgian rugby and hopefully give the Australian teams a bit of knowledge in scrum play.”


Georgia recorded their first-ever World Cup victory over Namibia (30-0) at last year’s tournament in France, among losses to tournament hosts France (64-7), Argentina (33-3) and Ireland (14-10).


Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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