Abu Dhabi Harlequins: Rugby Tour to Georgia

Mark Gardner

Military Rugby Tour to Georgia

Rugby Sports Tour to Georgia

Rugby tour to Georgia

Sports Tour Overview

In March 2017, Abu Dhabi Harlequins’ U15 embarked on a trailblazing 9-day rugby tour to Georgia, playing two games against strong opposition.
Lead by MSG guides, Maka and Katie the group saw the wonders of the old part of Tbilisi beginning with the Metekhi Church, a 13th Century building with spectacular views over the city, and Narikala Fortress.

A local restaurant catered for the team’s first taste of traditional Georgian food. The tongue salad was an acquired taste to say the least. Thankfully the Acharuli Khachapuri (cheese bread) went down a treat.

Parents visited the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral followed by a spot of wine tasting at two of the most desirable vineyards in Eastern Georgia. The team and coaches were invited down to Shevardeni- the national training ground for the Georgian U20’s squad- for a tour of the facilities and to watch the ‘Big 10’ league match that was taking place. The match displayed to the players just how serious rugby is taken in Georgia; a lifestyle for those who choose to play.
After some match inspiration, the team headed to Martkopi where the first challenge of the tour awaited verses the East Georgian Academy A Team. It’s safe to say that this team holds many national Georgian players of the future and with some dwarfing even the fathers of the tour, the Abu Dhabi Harlequins knew they had a challenge on their hands.

Later in the week, the group made their way to Kutaisi, the second largest town in Georgia, to take in the culture of the west. On route, they stopped at the Prometheus Grotto (discovered just 33 years ago), a 2km walk through underground caves which gave the group a chance to see stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and petrified waterfalls.

Whilst the group were chatting after food, in walked four members of the Georgian Folk Choir who wowed the group with an hour of tremendous harmonies, information on Georgian music tradition and other international influences on Georgian folk music.

The following day the players travelled to the Kutaisi High-Performance Centre where they were treated to a training session with four coaches from the Georgian RFU’s western division.

The session consisted of ball handling and communication drills and were run solely by the Georgian coaches, giving the Harlequins coaches a chance to talk tactics before their match that afternoon. During this time, the parents in the group took a trip to the 12th Century Gelati Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

It was then time for the third and final rugby match of the tour against Western Georgian, with the Harlequins gaining more possession, giving them the opportunity to display their flair and creativity on the pitch. A huge crowd filled the stadium showing just how much the Georgians love their rugby, at any level, and the final score stood at 24-7 to the hosts.

The Abu Dhabi Harlequins made their way to the Gudauri Ski Resort to end their momentous trip with a few days’ skiing. On the way, they visited the breath taking Uplistikhe cave town- an interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine cellars and even a theatre all caved into the rocks.

After a ski fit the evening before, the group woke to a delicious breakfast and hit the slopes for 2 hours of ski lessons by local instructors. With fresh powder, clear skies and good food from the slopes’ cafés, the group returned happy and keen to re-fuel some more

To end a fantastic and memorable tour, the group hosted their own awards evening. Full of smiles and good food everyone was in high spirits and it was a fantastic way to celebrate the group’s achievements through the week.


Sports Tour Highlights

Here is a selection of activities that Abu Dhabi Harlequins did on their sports tour to Georgia:

Our top picks ✅

  • Metekhi Church
  • Narikala Fortress
  • Traditional food tasting✅
  • Wine tasting
  • Svetitskhoveli Cathedral✅
  • Multiple fixtures
  • Visit to the David Gareja Cave Complex
  • Visit to the sulphur baths
  • Visit to Prometheus Grotto
  • Traditional Georgian music performance✅
  • Training session with coaches from Georgian RFU’s western division
  • Visit to Gelati Cathedral
  • Skiing✅
  • Awards evenings


Sports Tour Benefits

  • Improved motivation✅
  • Developing a sense of adventure✅
  • Appreciation of other cultures✅
  • Learning about new places and cultural traditions✅
  • Establishing a group identity✅

View our other case studies here

Thomas Clapham School: Rugby Tour to San Sebastian, Spain

Rydal Penrhos: Rugby Tour to Japan

REME Rugby: Tour to New Zealand

Booking a Rugby Tour to Georgia

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