Mikheil Gachechiladze gives his thoughts ahead of the Rugby Europe Super Cup Final
The Black Lion forwards put on a masterclass against the Iberians in the Rugby Europe Super Cup semi-final earlier this month - and it was no surprise that experienced back-row Mikheil Gachechiladze played a big part.
The Georgian internationalist turns 32 on Christmas Eve and he is hoping to carry on where he left off in the last four tie this Saturday when the holders host Tel-Aviv Heat from Israel in the final.
Havin played in Russia before, he is loving being part of the Black Lion journey now and is looking forward to the big match at the Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi.
Before that he has been looking back on the last few years in his career and he said: “My first international cap was against Belgium [in 2018] and I was happy as we won that game. I was proud to play for my country especially as I was waiting for my opportunity for a long time and, finally, I achieved it.
“I have seen different kinds of rugby played by Georgia, but I am sure the rugby we are playing now in the national team is much better quality than we ever have and I’m happy to be a part of this process. I’m doing my best to use my experience to help the team.
“Now [playing for Black Lion], first of all it’s big responsibility because Black Lion is the biggest rugby club/franchise in the history of Georgian rugby.
“Playing for Black Lion after playing abroad is very nice, it’s basically playing for your home city which brings a lot of emotions.
“Black Lion is playing a big role in developing the Georgian national team – in fact, I’m 100 percent sure that it has improved our national team.”
It has already been a big 2022 in Georgian rugby with Black Lion winning the inaugural Super Cup and the national team beating Italy and Wales.
And if Black Lion can retain the Super Cup then that would be the icing on the cake.
We are defending champions and we are going to do everything to retain our title. It will be a big, big fight on Saturday and every Georgian rugby fan must watch it - we need their support,” Mikheil explains.
“Tel-Aviv Heat has a much better team than they had last year. They’re very tough and very quick so it’ll be a good challenge for us - as rugby players we love to be challenged and we are looking forward to it.”
The Rugby Europe Super Cup Final will take place this Saturday at Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi and will be live on rugbyeurope.tv