Sir Clive Woodward said he believed Georgia should be in the Six Nations on ITV
Sir Clive Woodward appeared to put the mockers on Georgia after talking them up before their opening Rugby World Cup clash with Australia, only for the Lelos to deliver a very lacklustre first-half display at the Stade de France.
Woodward, working as a pundit on ITV’s coverage, insisted Georgia should be included in the Six Nations and emphasised how excited he was to see them play but the they did not hit their straps early on .
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He said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing them play, it’s a great fixture this because Australia should win on paper but Georgia are a really top team. There’s always a big debate about whether they should be in the Six Nations. I think they should be.
“We’ve got to encourage these teams to come in. Argentina would not be where they are today without playing against South Africa, Australia, New Zealand on a regular basis. We’ve got to give them more fixtures. They can’t wait every four years just to show themselves.
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“So I’m looking forward to them playing really well tonight. I’m not sure they’ll have quite enough to beat Australia but they’ve certainly got to put a stamp down and say, ‘Yes we are good enough to play in the Six Nations’ and take it to a whole new level.”
However, the former World Cup-winning coach looked to have jinxed Levan Maisashvili’s side as the Wallabies made a blistering start in Paris. As had happened the night before, when All Blacks winger Mark Telea scored the opening try on the left after 90 seconds, Jordan Petaia got Eddie Jones’s side up and running inside two minutes with a try in the very same region of the pitch.
The outside centre showed his strength to barrel over to score amid the clutches of Georgian wonderkid Davit Niniashvili. Luka Matkava’s penalty saw Georgia register their first points of the 2023 World Cup but the Wallabies scored their second try inside ten minutes when Mark Nawaqanitawase touched down.
Ben Donaldson, usually a fly-half but picked at full-back by Jones, proved to be an inspired selection as his reliable boot nudged 11 points in the first 40 to ensure Australia entered the break with a comfortable cushion, leading 21-3 after a first half where Georgia failed to find anywhere near their best, giving away 11 penalties and missing nine tackles.