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Georgia's Gorgodze out of retirement for Rugby World Cup

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Former captain Mamuka Gorgodze has come out of international retirement to play for Georgia in the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Gorgodze was picked on Monday for his fourth World Cup. He agreed to end a 2 1/2-year retirement after a spate of injuries hit the squad in camp. He will join the team next week.

"The squad needed him for the tournament," the Georgia Rugby Union said on its website. Gorgodze played his 71st and last test in March 2017. Georgia asked him to be available when he wanted, but Gorgodze said, as captain, he needed to be available for every test. He still leads the team with 26 tries. He turned 35 last month and was picked as a lock.

Center Davit Katcharava will also appear in his fourth World Cup. In all, 18 of the 31-man squad have World Cup experience, including scrumhalf Vasil Lobzhanidze, who became the youngest player in the tournament's history in 2015 when he played against Tonga at age 18.

Only nine of the squad play their club rugby in Georgia. Georgia opens against Wales on Sept. 23 in Toyota, followed by other Pool D matches against Uruguay, Fiji, and Australia.

Georgia: Forwards: Mikheil Nariashvili, Guram Gogichashvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Vano Karkadze, Levan Chilachava, Giorgi Melikidze, Beka Gigashvili, Giorgi Nemsadze, Shalva Sutiashvili, Mamuka Gorgodze, Kote Mikautadze, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Lasha Lomidze, Otar Giorgadze, Beka Gorgadze, Beka Saghinadze. Backs: Sandro Todua, Soso Matiashvili, Mirian Modebadze, Zurab Dzneladze, Davit Katcharava, Merab Sharikadze (captain), Tamaz Mtchedlidze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Lasha Malaghuradze, Lasha Khmaladze, Tedo Abzhandadze, Giorgi Begadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Gela Aprasidze.

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