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Cardiff Blues North U16 set for Georgian trip of a lifetime

27th October 2017

The Cardiff Blues North Under 16 side will go on tour to Georgia over the next few days, where they will play three fixture at the new Georgian Centre of Excellence.

The Georgian capital of Tbilisi played host to this year's World Rugby U20 Championship, while the senior national side have climbed to 12th in the world rankings - placed ahead of the likes of Italy, Samoa and Tonga.

Cardiff Blues' Anton Peikrishvili has represented Lelos on 24 occasions, and Georgia are set to take on Wales in next month's autumn test series at Principality Stadium.

It was during the World Rugby U20 Championship that Cardiff Blues' Richard Hodges, who was on duty with the Wales side as Defence Coach, developed links within the Georgian national set-up, which opened up the opportunity for Blues North U16's to head over to visit the country.

They will stay and play at the new Centre of Excellence in Martkopi, which is around 30 minutes from Tbilisi. Three matches are scheduled to take place, where Blues North will take on players from the national academy. 

Head coach, Leigh Medlicott, is looking forward to the unique and exciting opportunity handed to his side, but is expecting a tough Georgian challenge that will test the young team.

"It promises to be quite a challenge," said Medlicott.

"It is an opportunity for the players to compete at a very high level outside of their comfort zone, giving them exposure to what an elite rugby tour would entail.

"The trip will provide an opportunity to marry rugby with culture as well as social and emotional development of the young men.

"We are keen to develop the players holistically, ensuring that they find a balance around their sport with education at the core.

"We have been supported by an outstanding parents committee, who have raised funds extensively towards the trip and have helped provide this opportunity."

29 players and five members of staff are set to make the trip over to Martkopi, and they will return to Wales on November 4.