Portugal head coach Patrice Lagisquet hopes his team are closing the gap on World Cup rivals Georgia – but feels their Pool C opponents are widely under-rated.

Both sides lost their opening fixture in France and will be keen to increase their prospects of 2027 qualification by taking victory in Toulouse on Saturday.

Portugal were beaten 28-8 by Wales in their first game and now Lagisquet is expecting another stern test.

“I hope so, we will see,” he told reporters when asked if the gap is closing to Georgia.

“I really appreciate the way they play rugby, they do a great job and for me they must be considered as a model for rugby.

“When I see people talk about Georgia they underestimate their level. They not only have a big forward pack, they have very good backs. We know for four years and now they can perform very well.”

Georgia, meanwhile, lost 35-15 to Australia and head coach Levan Maisashvili wants to see improvement against the Portuguese.

“We were disappointed after Australia,” he admitted.

“We weren’t able to manage the game well and made tactical errors on a number of occasions, particularly with our kicking game.

“In a way it is a bit of a final, but it’s also just the beginning. We’ve only played one match, even if we lost it. Yes, it’s an important match against Portugal but we’re concentrating on our team.”

2023-09-22T18:18:29Z dg43tfdfdgfd