Georgia are marooned: too good for the second tier but shunned by rugby’s elite

Georgia, who play Wales on Saturday, have outgrown the European Nations tournament but still find the door to the Six Nations closed

Georgia arrived in Cardiff this week after a six-hour journey from Tbilisi via Istanbul, but their head coach, Milton Haig, fears they are in no man’s land. They have outgrown the tier two European Nations tournament, but the door to the Six Nations remains closed.

Their success has earned them one match against a tier one country in non-World Cup years, but their match against Wales on Saturday is sandwiched between encounters with Canada and the United States. The danger for Georgia is that the marked progress they have made under Haig, who took over after the 2011 World Cup, will stall because they have nowhere to go.

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