Georgia would attract 55,000 fans to every game if included in the Six Nations, the country’s World Rugby representative has claimed.
Italy’s opening two defeats to Wales and Ireland in this year’s championship have prompted debate over the Azzurri’s future involvement. Amidst the various suggested plans to revamp the format, there is a general consensus that Georgia would be front of the queue to replace Italy or become the seventh nation should the opportunity arise.
And George Nijaradze, Georgia’s representative on the World Rugby council, insists the country is ready for tier-one competition.
“I can promise you 55,000 spectators for each game,” he told The Telegraph. “Then, together with the management of the Six Nations, we can build up the commercial arm.
“We have the full support of the government and the private sector as well.
“The question is: tell us what we have to do? What do we need to bring to the negotiating table? Tell us and we will do it. The country is ready for it. Not just rugby, but the whole country because it is the national sport.
“Tbilisi is a beautiful city with many of the oldest cultures in the world. The supporters from England, Ireland, France, Scotland, Wales and Italy will come and enjoy the rugby, enjoy the city and enjoy the wine from the oldest wine-making country in the world.”
Discussing the Six Nations’ current closed-door policy, Nijaradze added: “If we people talk about rugby’s values then we cannot have double standards.
“You cannot run rugby like a VIP club and then talk of fairness and values.”