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Georgia appoint Graham Rowntree as forwards coach heading into World Cup year

Former England and Harlequins scrum coach Graham Rowntree has been called on by Georgia to get their forwards ready for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Rowntree had been out of the game after leaving Quins as part of the overhaul led by new director of rugby Paul Gustard, with forwards coach Nick Easter also leaving the Stoop for a job in South Africa.

In a major coup for Georgia rugby, Rowntree will now join up with the nation’s head coach Milton Haig and begin preparations for the team’s November Test against Italy in Florence, with Tests against Samoa and Tonga to follow.

This will all lead towards next year’s World Cup in Japan where Georgia will be looking to cause a surprise in Pool D against Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.

Rowntree has plenty of international experience to lean on having been brought into the England fold by his former Leicester team-mate Martin Johnson, before becoming a key part of Stuart Lancaster’s coaching team alongside Andy Farrell.

Ending the Red Rose’s eight-year drought for a Six Nations title in 2011, Rowntree also toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2009, 2013 and last year in New Zealand.

Victory over the Azzurri in November could reignite the argument for Georgia, nicknamed Lelos, to be admitted into the Six Nations aftetr winning the Rugby Europe Nations Cup seven of the last eight years.

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