Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup: Georgia's Zirakashvili makes emotional exit after Namibia win
Rob Bartlett
October 8, 2015
Georgia lack killer instinct

SANDY PARK, Exeter -- Georgia prop Davit Zirakashvili says helping his nation achieve a piece of World Cup history was the perfect way to end his international career.

Georgia's narrow 17-16 triumph over Namibia on Wednesday night will likely earn Milton Haig's side automatic qualification for the next World Cup in Japan -- a first in Lelos history.

However, it proved to be a bittersweet night for Zirakashvili, who announced his retirement from international Test rugby shortly after helping his side to victory.

"For me there is double emotions," he told ESPN on Georgia's famous victory in Exeter. "First of all, Georgia look likely to automatically qualify for the next World Cup with this victory but secondly, for me, this was my last match for the national team.

Zirakashvili's team-mates lift him up in celebration after announcing his retirement from international rugby © Getty Images

"It was an emotional game but it was a bad game for me. I did not play well -- but I will just about remember this victory.

"In my position, Georgia is not lacking in players to take my place. We have good players who deserve to take my place. I wouldn't abandon my country if that wasn't the case.

"Of course it's sad for me to leave, but everything must come to an end. I thought a lot about this decision, I've played for 12 years for the Georgian team, so it's not a decision I've taken lightly. Of course I will miss it a lot, but I have a family who I want to spend more time with now, and that's a natural progression in life."

Following an enthralling, tense and scrappy affair at Sandy Park, the final whistle sparked scenes of joy in the Georgia camp. Haig, his coaches and the players have put four years' preparation into achieving their ultimate goal of winning two pool matches at a World Cup for the first time.

Iin front of their jubilant and tearful fans, the entire Georgia squad reserved special celebration for their 53-cap prop Zirakashvili. All 117kg of the Clermont star was hoisted into the air, much to his bemusement.

"That was what the celebrations were for at the end, when my team-mates threw me in the air," Zirakashvili said. "I hadn't played well enough for anyone to throw me up in the air -- the players were just saying farewell to me."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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