2019 Rugby World Cup: Ireland vs Russia Preview

Ireland faces Russia in a Pool A match at Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City on 3 October. Kickoff is at 7:15 pm local time (06:15 ET). The match may be viewed in the U.S. on NBCSN or on-demand on NBC Sports Gold and on and TSN channels 1 and 4 in Canada.

Ireland beat Scotland 27-3 in round one and then lost 19-12 to Japan. Russia lost to Japan in the opening match of the tournament and then lost to Samoa 34-9.


Joe Schmidt has made ten changes in his starters from the loss to Japan. Johnny Sexton returns to action after not playing against Japan and will captain the side. Rob Kearney is retained at fullback while Garry Ringrose is at outside center, and Keith Earls returns on the wing. Only flanker Peter O’Mahony returns in the forwards.

In the forwards, Jordi Murphy will make his first appearance at No.8 after his call-up due to Jack Conan’s injury. Peter O’Mahony and Rhys Ruddock complete an experienced back-row. Schmidt has gone with an all-Munster tight five with John Ryan making his World Cup debut at tight-head, alongside hooker Niall Scannell and loose-head Dave Kilcoyne. Jean Kleyn makes his first appearance of the tournament at lock and will be paired with Tadhg Beirne.

Luke McGrath will pair with Johnny Sexton in the halfbacks, with Andrew  Conway on the wing. With Chris Farrell being ruled out of the game after failing a head injury assessment in Shizuoka, the center partnership will be Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose, who starts his third consecutive game.

Joey Carbery and Jack Carty, who are normally fly-halves, will provide cover and fly-half and at the center from the bench.

Robbie Henshaw, who has yet to make an appearance after sustaining a hamstring injury in training shortly after Ireland’s arrival in Japan, will likely play in the final pool game against Samoa in Fukuoka on October 12.


Lyn Jones has made nine changes for Russia, with Andrei Polivalov at loosehead prop and Evgeny Matveev at hooker. Andrei Garbozev is at lock, Anton Sychev is the openside flanker and Viktor Gresev makes his tournament debut at No 8.

There is a new halfback pairing in Dmitri Perov and Ramil Gaisin, while Kirill Golosnitskiy switches to inside-center from the wing and will pair with Igor Galinovski. Denis Simplikevich is on the left wing.

Jones has also opted for an extra forward on the bench with only two backs.


Ireland: 1. Dave Kilcoyne 2. Niall Scannell 3. John Ryan 4. Tadhg Beirne 5. Jean Kleyn 6. Rhys Ruddock 7. Peter O’Mahony 8. Jordi Murphy 9. Luke McGrath 10. Johnny Sexton (capt.) 11. Keith Earls 12. Bundee Aki 13. Garry Ringrose 14. Andrew Conway 15. Rob Kearney 16. Sean Cronin 17. Andrew Porter 18. Tadhg Furlong 19. Iain Henderson 20. CJ Stander 21. Joey Carbery 22. Jack Carty 23. Jordan Larmour

Russia: 1 Andrei Polivalov 2 Evgeny Matveev 3 Kirill Gotovtsev 4 Andrei Garbuzov 5 Bogdan Fedotko 6 Anton Sychev 7 Tagir Gazhiev 8 Viktor Gresev 9 Dmitri Perov 10 Ramil Gaisin 11 Denis Simplikevich 12 Kirill Golosnitskiy 13 Igor Galinovski14 German Davydov 15 Vasili Artemyev (capt.) 16 Stanislav Selskiy 17 Valeri Morozov 18 Vladimir Podrezov 19 Andrei Ostrikov 20 Evgeny Elgin 21 Sergei Yanyushkin 22 Roman Khodin 23 Vladimir Ostroushko

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant