Georgia’s Mamuka Gorgodze has hit out at Italy rugby captain Sergio Parisse for suggesting that the Italians deserve their place in the Six Nations above some of Europe’s second tier sides.
Due to Italy’s general struggles in the tournament, there has been some talk of promotion/relegation being introduced with the potential for second tier European nations like Romania and Georgia getting an opportunity to face some of the best teams in the Northern Hemisphere.
It was an idea that Parisse had rejected as “stupid idea”, saying: “Could you imagine teams like Ireland, Scotland or even France being last in the tournament and being relegated and going to play other nations? I think it’s a stupid question. Italy do a lot for this tournament. I am really respectful for countries like Georgia and Romania, but they have never beaten France or Ireland. We really deserve to be here, simple as that.”
But Georgia’s Gorgodze, who plays for European Champions Cup holders Toulon and has over 60 caps for his country, vented his anger with Parisse’s comments in an interview with French rugby outlet Rugbyrama.
“What Parisse said about [promotion/relegation] was not good. It’s not for him to say that one team should be in one place and another team elsewhere. His job is to play on the field and not to talk to the press off it. What I can tell you is that Georgia would never lose by 70 points to Wales. For me, and I repeat it, Georgia aren’t ready to play in the Six Nations. But were we to develop for 17 years at that level, I’m sure we’d progress at least as quickly as Italy,” he said, suggesting that Italy and Georgia should go head-to-head in a match between the bottom side in the A tournament and the top side of the B ranks and that Parisse’s comments “angered” the Georgians.