Georgia Rugby president Soso Tkemaladze has hailed a glimpse into the future of the sport after watching his country's Under-20 side secure an historic first victory over England in Tbilisi.
The hosts had been narrowly beaten 41-36 by England on Saturday in the first of the two-match series, the result of an emerging link between the national federations.
Head coach Lado Kilasonia's side produced a determined display in the second match on Thursday, having been forced to fight back from deficits to secure a famous win.
The hosts had trailed 14-0 within the opening five minutes, but responded impressively through tries from Davit Khuroshvili and Petre Khutsishvili to level the score.
An eventful first half saw England regain the lead, before Tornike Tohamiashvili's try on the stroke of half-time reduced the deficit to 24-21.
Giorgi Ohumburidze went over in the second half to put Georgia ahead for the first time, with Luka Dvali scoring a brace to secure an historic 40-38 triumph after England's Joe Jenkins had been sin binned.
The result provoked emotional scenes in Tbilisi with a crowd of 1,813 celebrating with the players on the pitch after the Lelos' first ever victory over England at any age group.
'We've witnessed an absolutely thrilling match in Georgia today,' Tkemaladze told Mail Sport following the victory.
'It was fiercely contested between two teams displaying exceptional skill, determination, and raw talent and offering a glimpse into the future of the game.
'This historic 'David and Goliath' moment gives us every reason to believe that Georgia has a right to be considered full members of the global rugby family.
'I want to thank (England Rugby CEO) Bill Sweeney for his support and for two great games.'
The landmark result comes at an ideal time for the nation, with Georgia Rugby last month posting a plea to rugby bosses on social media to 'Let us play outside the box'.
The call came as part of a growing campaign for Georgia to be considered for entry into the Six Nations, due to their continued dominance of the Rugby Europe Championship.
The Lelos are the 14-time record champions of the second tier tournament, winning 11 of the past 12 editions.
Their sixth successive title was secured with victory over Portugal in April.
Six Nations chief have faced calls to consider a system of promotion and relegation, due to the progress made by tier two nations.
Victory over England will only enhance Georgia's claim to play more matches against tier one nations, having now secured wins against each of the Six Nations participants.
Georgia's finest result came last November when the senior national team stunned Wales by earning a 13-12 victory away at the Principality Stadium.
The result demonstrated their continued progression following a 28-19 home success against Italy last July.
Georgia have also secured wins over Argentina, France, Ireland and Scotland at age group levels.
Australia, South Africa and New Zealand the only tier one sides they have yet to beat, although few matches have been played between the nations.
An opportunity will come later this month when Georgia meet South Africa at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
Georgia will face the hosts, Argentina and Italy in the pool phase of the tournament.
The senior side will be determined to make an impact on the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.
Head coach Levan Maisashvili's side will face Australia, Fiji, Portugal and Wales in the pool phase, with the nation targeting two victories.
Georgia are currently ranked 11th in the world heading into the tournament, three places ahead of Six Nations mainstays Italy.Read more 2023-06-01T21:47:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd