The English coach will also head up the Black Lion team

Richard Cockerill has been named as the new head coach of the Georgian national team, taking the helm ahead of the Rugby Europe Championship kicking off.

With a presentation in Tbilisi, it was unveiled that Cockerill will also take charge of the Black Lion side, who are currently competing in the European Challenge Cup. The franchise – made up of Georgia talent based in the country – were also victorious in the Rugby Europe Super Cup, their win over Tel Aviv Heat netting them back-to-back titles.

Former Leicester Tigers, Clermont and England hooker Cockerill has been out of a job since parting ways with Montpellier midway through this season. Before that, he served as an England assistant coach, and briefly held the post of interim boss between the Eddie Jones and Steve Borthwick regimes.

Cockerill was director of rugby at Leicester Tiger between 2009 and 2017, as well as coaching stints with Toulon and Edinburgh.

Georgia begin their Rugby Europe Championship campaign away to Germany on 4 February.

The challenge facing Richard Cockerill in Georgia

The Georgians are incredibly ambitious.

For years now they have demanded an increase volume of matches against higher-tier national sides, as well calling for changes to the Six Nations. They are the dominant force in the Rugby Europe Championship and their youth set-up is growing in power.

However, they had a disastrous Rugby world Cup in France, with only a draw against familiar foes Portugal, and three defeats to their name in Pool C. Cockerill’s job will be to steer Georgia back to the form that saw them overcome Wales in 2022, and that has made them an obstinate opponent in previous World Cups.

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