RWC Preview: Scotland v Russia

RWC Preview: Scotland v Russia

Gregor Townsend is not expecting an easy ride against Russia when Scotland attempt to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals alive on Wednesday.


Scotland will be expected to secure maximum points against bottom side Russia at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa to set up a decisive showdown with hosts Japan on Sunday.

Bonus-point wins in their two remaining Pool A matches will guarantee Scotland's progress into the last eight.

Darcy Graham is the only player who started a 34-0 defeat of Samoa last Monday to retain his place in the XV to take on Russia.

Scotland

Russia are without a point from their three matches, but Scotland head coach Townsend expects the Bears to put up a strong fight in their last match of the tournament.



He said: "We have had a long rest into this game, but obviously don't have too long a rest going into our final game.

"We have a job to do, that much is clear. Russia have gained in confidence, they look a fit team.

"They have a very good scrum and an excellent kicking game. They will put everything into this. It's important we build on the momentum we built against Samoa."

Russia coach Lyn Jones has made nine alterations to his starting line-up following a 35-0 loss to Ireland. 

Captain Vasily Artemyev, prop Kirill Gotovtsev, flanker Tagir Gadzhiev and wing German Davydov will make their fourth starts of the tournament, while centre Kirill Golosnitskiy misses out after colliding with a post in the loss to Ireland. 

Russia

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Scotland - John Barclay

The experienced Barclay comes into the back row to captain Scotland and the 33-year-old will be expected to dominate alongside Ryan Wilson.

Russia - Vladimir Ostroushko

Ostroushko returns to the starting line-up after coming off the bench against Ireland and Jones will be looking for the centre to play a big role in attack and defence.

OPTA FACTS 

- This will be the first ever meeting between Scotland and Russia in any competition.

- Russia have scored just one try in the tournament - in the opening match against Japan - and are still without a World Cup win.

- Scotland kept Samoa pointless in their last game, the fourth time they achieved that feat in World Cup match.

- Scotland are one of just three sides yet to miss a place kick at goal in the tournament - hitting the target with all four attempts.

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