Rugby World Cup Match Preview - Ireland vs Russia


Ireland will look to continue their good form against minnows Russia at the Rotorua International Stadium. The Irish stunned the rugby world last week by beating Australia 15-6 last week putting them in the ascendancy in pool C. Declan Kidney rings in the changes with Leo Cullen, the stand in captain, admitting that Ireland's fringe players are "champing at the bit  to face the Russia.

Kidney also hands starts to Donnacha Ryan, Sean Cronin, Tony Buckley, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble, Fergus McFadden, Ronan O'Gara and Isaac Boss. Cullen played in Ireland's only other clash with Russia back in 2002 where the Irish won comfortably 35-3. With Ronan O'Gara speculating about whether or not to retire from International rugby, Ireland will be looking to progress as far as they can in this tournament.

Russia will want to put in a strong performance as they make nine changes to the team that lost heavily to Italy 53-17 last time out. Denis Simplikevich is handed a debut after the 20 year-old winger caught the eye of the Russian coach at the 2010 and 2011 Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Simplikevich lines up alongside Valery Tsnobiladze, Alexander Khrokin, Sergey Popov, Denis Antonov, Artem Fatakhov, Alexander Yanyushkin and Sergey Trishin in the starting XV.  Northampton ace Vasily Artemyev switches to full back with the inclusion of Simplikevich.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Isaac Boss, 1 Cian Healy, 2 Sean Cronin, 3 Tony Buckley, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 5 Leo Cullen (capt), 6 Donnacha Ryan, 7 Sean O'Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Mike Ross, 18 Denis Leamy, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Geordan Murphy.

Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev, 14 Denis Simplikevich, 13 Andrey Kuzin, 12 Sergey Trishin, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Konstantin Rachkov, 9 Alexander Yanyushkin (capt), 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Andrey Garbuzov, 6 Artem Fatakhov, 5 Adam Byrnes, 4 Denis Antonov, 3 Alexander Khrokin, 2 Valery Tsnobiladze, 1 Sergey Popov.
Replacements: 16 Evgeny Matveev,17 Ivan Prishchepenko, 18 Alexey Travkin, 19 Alexander Voytov, 20 Andrey Bykanov, 21 Mikhail Sidorov, 22 Mikhail Babaev.


Ireland Fixtures