Rugby-Saghinadze back as Georgia make eight changes for Portugal

SAINT-ETIENNE (Reuters) - Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili has recalled Lyon loose forward Beka Saghinadze into a much-changed side to face Portugal in World Cup Pool C in Toulouse on Saturday.

Maisashvili made eight changes to his team from the side that started the disappointing 35-15 loss to Australia at the Stade de France in their tournament opener.

Flyhalf Tedo Abzhandadze and scrumhalf Gela Aprasidze will start in a new halfback partnership with regular playmaker Luka Matkava backing up from the bench.

Saghinadze, who missed Georgia's warm-ups and the Australia game through injury, slots into the back row at openside flanker in place of young gun Luka Ivanishvili, who scored the first of Georgia's two tries against the Wallabies.

Centre Merab Sharikadze will captain the team for the 50th time at Stadium de Toulouse.

Team: 15-Davit Niniashvili, 14-Akaki Tabutsadze, 13-Giorgi Kveseladze, 12-Merab Sharikadze (captain), 11-Alexander Todua, 10-Tedo Abzhandadze, 9-Gela Aprasidze, 8-Beka Gorgadze, 7-Beka Saginadze, 6-Tornike Jalaghonia, 5-Kote Mikautadze, 4-Lado Chachanidze, 3-Beka Gigashvili, 2-Shalva Mamukashvili, 1-Mikheil Nariashvili

Replacements: 16-Tengizi Zamtaradze, 17-Guram Gogichashvili, 18-Guram Papidze, 19-Nodar Cheishvili, 20-Giorgi Tsutskiridze, 21-Vasil Lobzhanidze, 22-Luka Matkava, 23-Demur Tapladze

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Toby Davis)

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