Pro14: Georgia in talks to join competition

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
The Georgian rugby union team in training
The Georgia team are hoping to benefit from training with England

Georgian rugby is in talks to join the Pro14 in a bid to break into the top tier of the international game.

Los Lelos have consistently been one of the top tier-two teams in Europe, without being given regular exposure at the highest level.

But head coach Milton Haig told BBC Sport that discussions have started over a Georgian side joining one of the leading leagues.

"We've had different talks with different competitions," he said.

The Pro14 has regularly voiced its desire to expand the league, with Haig "hopeful" a Georgian outfit could be involved in the "next couple of years".

"The next step for us is trying to get into a franchise competition - it could be the Currie Cup, it could be the Pro14, it could be Super Rugby," Haig added.

"Like most countries, to be successful at a high level of international rugby you need a stepping stone.

"Preferably it is European but after that as long as it is competitive and cost-effective then we will take anything."

Six Nations attitude 'disappointing'

Despite Georgia being 12th in the World Rugby rankings, the Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel recently ruled out any changes to the structure of the championship in an interview with BBC Sport.

"It's always disappointing because you would hope one day there might be an opening for them to be a bit more risky and open the door," Haig said.

"I can understand certain things in terms of the business model, but our job is just make sure that we can represent ourselves with every opportunity and that we hopefully we get more credibility and exposure."

Georgia are currently in Oxford training with Eddie Jones' England squad during the Six Nations fallow week.

"This is the second time we have had the opportunity and we are very grateful to Eddie and England Rugby," Haig said.

"It's an awesome opportunity and hugely beneficial."


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