Georgia have established themselves as one of the top rugby union outfits, edging their way ahead of Italy in the world rankings. Consistently, Lelos have punched above their weight and questions are now being asked about whether they should replace the Azzurri in the Six Nations Championship.
Thus far, Italy have lost their last 30 consecutive games in the competition and are currently backed in the rugby odds at a massive 500/1 to win the Six Nations in 2022, highlighting how little the bookies believe in the Azzurri. Meanwhile, Georgia are applying serious pressure on the organisers of the tournament to oust Italy, and it could mean drastic changes for the sport in Europe as a whole.
One way in which this radical act could redefine the sport is that Georgia’s potential rise to the top could give hope to other nations, including the likes of Poland. Following their lead, there’s every chance that Poland could one day could take the step up and compete in the most prestigious tournament in the Northern Hemisphere. Poland, more than most nations, have a great deal of work in order to close the gap. The White and Reds have been competing in the Rugby Europe Trophy ever since its formation in 2016.
Outside of the 2016/17 campaign, where the Poles won three out of their five games, the nation hasn’t been overly competitive and hasn’t pushed for promotion into the Rugby Europe Championship. They finished bottom of the standings in the last campaign after winning only one out of their five matches. Evidently, there’s a long way to go for Poland to improve their fortunes in the competition.
Up-and-comers Georgia have been the standout in the top tier of the tournament, resulting in their push for the Six Nations. The difference between Georgia and Poland, in terms of quality, is great. Lelos have been active in the last four World Cups, which saw them win two matches in the 2015 World Cup, falling narrowly short of the quarter-finals after putting Tonga and Namibia to the sword. In contrast, Poland have failed to compete at the World Cup in their history, which is unlikely to change in the near future.