Blink and you'll miss him, the elusive back is shining for club and country


Georgian rugby is well-known for producing fearsome forwards who excel at scrum-time – but there’s a growing band of backs who are catching the eye too.

None more so than Davit Niniashvili, who is shining for his country and for his club Lyon in the Top 14.

Read more: The rise of Georgia wing Davit Niniashvili

Ten things you should know about Davit Niniashvili

1. He was born on July 14, 2002 in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

2. Started playing rugby aged eight at RC Khvamli in Tbilisi.

3. Niniashvili was first called into the Georgia set-up as a 17-year-old.

4. He joined Lyon in 2021 and as of the end of the 2022-23 season, had scored 12 tries in 33 appearances for the French club.

5. He was twice named player of the match in Lyon’s run to lift the European Challenge Cup in 2022.

6. His name hit headlines in the final against Toulon after he was on the end of a clear out from Springbok Eben Etzebeth and was allowed back onto the field of play despite showing clear signs of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

7. Before that moment that caused so much concern and frustration – Niniashvili was involved in another shocking incident and this one was all his own doing. Poised to score, he overran and stepped over the dead ball line which meant the try did not count. Fortunately Lyon still comfortably won 30-12 to spare his blushes.

8. Georgian rugby legends Mamuka Gorgodze and Merab Kvirikashvili are his rugby heroes.

9. Made his Test debut aged 18 against Ireland in the autumn of 2020, and as of June 2023, had scored seven tries in 20 appearances for his country.

10. Started for the Barbarians against England in the summer of 2022.

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