South Africa’s domestic competitions are set for an influx of more foreign teams.
The Georgia Rugby Union revealed that a team from that country will be playing in South African competitions from 2020.
It is part of an “11-year cooperation agreement” between Georgia and South African.
According to the statement on the Georgia Rugby Union website, the team would play in the ‘Currie Cup’.
However, it is more likely to be the First Division – a second-tier domestic competition won by the Jaguares XV from Argentina this year.
The Jaguares XV, who went through the season unbeaten, competed against SWD Eagles from George, the East Rand-based Falcons, the Griffons (Welkom), Boland Cavaliers (Wellington), EP Elephants (Port Elizabeth), Border Bulldogs (East London) and Leopards (Potchefstroom).
The news follows confirmation that the Georgia national team, the Lelos, will face the Springboks in a historic Test on July 18.
The Springboks and Georgia have only met once before, in a pool match at the World Cup in 2003 in Sydney, when SA won 46-19, scoring seven tries in the process.
SA Rugby is yet to confirm the venue and kick-off time of the match – the first time they will meet on SA soil.
The agreement between GRU and SA Rugby will also see “close liaison” between academies of South Africa and Georgia.
Apart from the Test in July, there will be encounters between other national teams of the two countries – such as Sevens and the various age-group outfits.
SA Rugby will provide Georgian coaches, referees, managers and other rugby specialists with training.
Joint tournaments will be organised in both South Africa and Georgia.
According to the GRU statement, the agreement was signed by SA Rugby President Mark Alexander and GRU President Gocha Svanidze.