Ref Watch: The Georgian era

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There will be another first for the Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday afternoon, as far as I can see, with a Georgian referee taking charge of a game on the hallowed plastic for the first time.

Nika Amashukeli is a rising star in the referee world after catching the eye in the Georgian Top10 domestic competition, he has gone on to referee extensively on the U20 international circuit last season.

He was the first official from Georgia to take charge of an U20 Six Nations game last season, refereeing England v Italy and getting so involved he ended up colliding with a player, heading to the blood bin to be stitched up before returning to the game later on.

Amashukeli went on to officiate at the World Rugby U20 Championship last summer before being picked up by European competition organisers EPCR for this season.

So far he has been in the middle for four games; Leicester’s home win over Pau, Wasps’ home win over Agen, Castres away win at Enisei and Zebre’s away win at Stade Francais last week. He has shown seven yellow cards across the four games, and no red cards.

Amashukeli will be assisted by countrymen Shota Tevzadze and Saba Abulashvili. There will once again be no TMO as the match is not televised.

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