The Lelos head man has “serious lung damage”

Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili in hospital with Covid

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili has “serious lung damage” and is in a Johannesburg hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

Maisashvili is one of several members of the Georgia touring party who returned positive Covid tests after their Test against South Africa at the start of July and his condition has led to the coach being put on “artificial respiration”.

Georgia Rugby told Reuters in a statement: “We got several Covid cases just after the match in Pretoria, including Georgia’s head coach Levan Maisashvili, who is currently hospitalised with serious lung damage and is on artificial respiration.

“Everything is being done to improve Levan Maisashvili’s condition. He has been moved to one of South Africa’s top-level clinics, which is equipped with the most up-to-date medical equipment to manage Covid patients.

“The rest of the team has already returned to Georgia while Levan and the team doctor will stay in South Africa for as long as needed. Five more Covid-positive team members are finishing their recovery and will leave for Georgia on Sunday.”

Georgia travelled to South Africa to play a two-Test series against the Springboks as part of the world champions’ preparations for the British & Irish Lions 2021 series.

The Lelos lost 40-9 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 2 July – the Boks’ first Test since winning the Rugby World Cup in November 2019 – but the second Test was subsequently cancelled after members of both camps tested positive for Covid.

Maisashvili took charge of Georgia following the 2019 World Cup and has since guided them to back-to-back Rugby Europe Championship titles having previously been an assistant coach.

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