The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, has awarded the Georgian Rugby Union President George Nijaradze and the nation's former national team coach Richie Dixon with the Honorary Orders of Excellence.
Nijaradze and Dixon, who was also involved in a development and consultancy role with the Georgian Rugby Union, were awarded the accolades for special contribution to development of rugby in Georgia and outstanding international achievements.
“I highly appreciate your long-term activity, which finally yielded its results this year and showed how dramatically Georgia progressed in rugby," said President Saakashvili at the ceremony, held in Kvareli in the Kakheti Region.
"Sport is a crucial part of the mainstream process, which will transform Georgia into a top level country.
“By participating in Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand this autumn, Georgia made a bold statement; we showed that Georgian rugby stepped onto a new, higher stage of development.
“We plan to promote and further develop Georgian rugby by means of new governmental support programmes.
“I would like to once again thank Georgian national rugby coach and the President of the Georgian Rugby Union. Both of you achieved your goals, and we are grateful for this,” added President Saakashvili.