“Rugby is not for those who are easily frightened!”
24 October, 2015
“Rugby is not for those who are easily frightened!”
Despite tiresome matches and an aching knee, Mamuka “Gorgodzilla” Gorgodze was commissioned back to his club straight from the World Cup matches. Unfortunately, the captain of the Georgian National Team injured his ankle soon after his arrival to Toulon and thus won’t be able to help the team for about ten days. But before that, “Gorgodzilla” proved once again that he is a world-class star: Several prestigious publications named him the best rugby player of the World Cup group rounds
and moreover, he was acknowledged as the best player of the match with New Zealand. Mamuka Gorgodze seldom agrees to interviews, but when Georgian Journal’s reporters asked him to assess the World Cup, it seems he simply could not resist.

“I’ve witnessed so much love from the fans that I don’t want anybody to say, ‘He’s gotten old but doesn’t get the clue that he has to go home.’ As soon as I feel that I’m not fit, I will leave the National Team despite my tremendous love for the motherland.”

– It’s been quite some time since we last came across an interview of yours. How does one of the most popular rugby players manage geotv.geto evade journalists?

– Well, fans do want to know everything about their idol, but if you overdo it - if your face is everywhere they get fed up and neither your playing nor your successes will bring their interest back. They can get in touch with me through various magazines and newspapers and if the reader ends up reading the same story everywhere, he will get fed up as well and say “Oh boy, he’s driving us up the wall with this World Cup!”

– I won’t drive you up the wall but I still have to ask about the World Cup. First of all, what did it mean for you?

– You play against New Zealand at the “Millennium” in Cardiff for only 48 minutes, lose the game with a 40-point difference and still get named the best rugby player – what else can a man want?! But I’ll be honest with you: Victory over Tonga was far more important and memorable.

– You were preparing for this match against Tonga for two years. Had you lost the game, would the team have broken psychologically and become unable to compete further?

– This was not a game we could lose. You had to see what was going on in the locker room before the match with Tonga – the whole team was fully concentrated, our blood was boiling: Even the coaches couldn’t hide their emotions!

“Nobody can insult you on the field to a degree that you won’t be able to stand it. There is nothing more honorable than pulling yourself together, not letting your team down and responding to your rival with a victory.”

– Even before the group qualification rounds began, the coaches of the Georgian National Team said that the team was at its peak level of preparation. As the matches have shown, your physical conditioning was excellent indeed.

– Our physical training coaches did an geotv.geamazing job. This World Cup was also special because despite every single team being very well prepared physically, we ended up seeing many injures. However, as opposed to the previous years, this time the Georgian team had a different aim – to win a minimum of two matches.

– What does it mean for Mamuka Gorgodze to be the captain of the National Team?

– The greatest honor and responsibility! Despite your form or mood, you have no right to show poor play or let your teammates down. I’m the captain of the team and thus I have double the responsibility! There’s also something I’d like to tell every novice rugby player: Nobody can insult you on the field to a degree that you won’t be able to stand it. There is nothing more honorable than pulling yourself together, not letting your team down and responding to your rival with a victory! When I was young I remember how much I learnt from the relatively adult, experienced teammates. By the way, I still learn a lot today, even from the young players – if somebody thinks that he knows everything, his prospects are very grim.

– What does a rugby player think when standing opposite the strongest New Zealand rugby team performing a haka?

– Being a man, a human being, is what matters for me most; I don’t idolize any teams or players, but it’s impossible to see before you something you’ve been watching on TV and from the stands since childhood and to show no emotion. It was a great pleasure and honor for me to stand in front of the geotv.gebest team in the world and watch their bellicose dance, but I felt no fear.

– A haka is meant to frighten and demoralize the rival… And yet you never felt fear, neither during the performance nor on the field?

– I’ll give you a answer for the novices to hear: Rugby is not for those who are easily frightened!

– Do you think we are mentally or financially ready for the Six Nations tournament?

– I may not have a popular point of view, but still… At this stage it’s better to fight against teams such as Japan, Canada, USA and Tonga. Let us grow while fighting them and when we defeat them as we do with the teams participating in the Cup of Nations, we’ll be able to say that – from a sporting point of view – we are ready for the Six Nations.

– We’ve already secured automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup and the coaches of the National Team will have a chance to use the matches for testing both the players and their tactics. Does this mean that we’ll be seeing less of you in the National Team, since you’ll only participate in crucial matches?

– Yeah, probably so. I’ll be coming around only now and then. However, I’m currently in such a form that I think I’ll be able to do a good job for the National Team even after three years. If I maintain the form for this time, I will by all means participate in the 2019 World Cup matches. We aren’t robots programmed to always play well, but I’ll by no means take to field unless I’m 100 percent confident in myself. I’ve witnessed so much love from the fans that I don’t want anybody to say, “He’s gotten old but doesn’t get the clue that he has to go home.” As soon as I feel that I’m not fit, I will leave the National Team despite my tremendous love for my motherland. I want to finish my National Team career with a good name.

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