Georgia coach Milton Haig said today's 43-14 Rugby World Cup defeat by Wales is the perfect example of why his team needs to play Tier 1 opposition regularly if they are to be more competitive.
Georgia were blown away in the first half at the City of Toyota Stadium as they trailed 29-0 at the break, but then rallied in what was an improved second-half performance in terms of intensity and ambition.
Haig has been beating the drum of Georgia's inclusion in the Six Nations throughout his eight years in charge, and says it is "vital" if European rugby wants to see the country develop beyond their current level.
"You can't play a team like Wales at the World Cup and produce miracles if you are not used to playing at this speed," Haig told reporters.
"The first half today showed that if you make a mistake against these (Tier 1) teams, they will kill you. Georgia needs at least four matches a year against Tier 1 teams and until that happens, these are the results you will get."
The New Zealander has spoken to World Rugby about the predicament, but has yet to see any real, concrete action.
"I have voiced my opinion to them a number of times, both in person and through the media. Will we get change? I'm not sure. I know after this World Cup there will be more visits from Tier 1 nations to Georgia, but whether it is enough, I don't know," he said.
"A competition like the Six Nations is where we need to be to compete with teams like Wales.
"When they draw up the (international) schedule it is done four years in advance and the small boys like us scramble for the scraps at the table. We fight for what we can get. Hopefully we will see some change from 2020 onwards."
Both of Georgia's tries came via props barging their way over the line and Haig said one of his biggest challenges is to widen the attacking options of his side, with Wales comfortable in defence whenever their opponents tried to run the ball.
"We have adapted our game over the last couple of years to be able to use the ball more and vary our attack. But we are a set-piece team, there is no doubt about that," he added.
"Our younger players that are coming through are fantastic and understand the game a bit better.
"Coming from playing at the junior World Cup (every year), they don't have the same psychological barrier of playing top teams."
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said that lock Cory Hill is facing a major battle to play any part in the tournament.
The Dragons lock will be assessed on Tuesday and a decision then looks likely to be made on Hill, who has been battling to overcome a stress fracture of his leg and has not played since February.
Asked at Wales' post-match press conference whether Hill was out of the tournament, Gatland said: "Possibly."
And he added: "If he doesn't return to fitness, he will go back to the UK. We're going to assess him tomorrow and see what sort of progress he has made.
"If it's not good news, he will go back. If they think he can recover, then he will stay out. We are going to assess that overnight."
Gatland also revealed that centre Hadleigh Parkes suffered "a bit of a bone fracture" in his hand against Georgia, but he is not expected to be a fitness issue for next Sunday's Pool D showdown against Australia.
And fly-half Dan Biggar suffered a cut under his chin during the warm-up, but he went on to deliver a solid display as Wales began their campaign in six-try fashion.
Gatland added: "I'm pleased with our first-half performance - we were pretty clinical - but we let things slip in the second half. We lost some continuity by making some changes and keeping players as fresh as we can."
Reflecting on the situation with Rob Howley, the Wales assistant coach who was sent home from Japan last week for an alleged breach of World Rugby's betting regulations,Gatland said: "You just have to draw a line in the sand and move on. You can't change the past and what has happened. You have to look forward.
"I said to the players beforehand, I thought they've been outstanding this week. The way they have prepared for this match, the way they've trained.
"It was definitely strange (without Howley). You've just got to give Stephen (Howley's replacement Stephen Jones) as much support as you possibly can.
"He has fitted in seamlessly. He's been doing a good job."
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