TOKYO, 18 Sep – The Bears of Russia plan to "bring chaos" to Japan's organisation in their bid to start Rugby World Cup 2019 with a shock win.
"Let me be frank, we have a 20 per cent chance in this game – but that's just on paper," Russia's Welsh coach Lyn Jones said.
"Japan are favourites. They are very fast, nobody makes mistakes. We appreciate the way Japan play but we also want to touch the line, do well and enjoy ourselves."
His captain, full-back Vasily Artemyev, agrees and is similarly positive about his side's prospects.
"We watched the last four or five games of Japan. They have a very structured, organised game. We need to bring chaos into their organisation," he said.
Jones has made four replacements to his starting 15 compared with the previous encounter with the Brave Blossoms in November 2018.
One of the newcomers to the squad is winger German Davydov who expects pressure to be higher on Japan as a host nation.
"We are not nervous," Davydov said. "I think it is (the) Japanese who should feel anxiety as hosts. We are not anxious. We need to go on the pitch and play our best rugby."
Artemyev, who took part in the Bears' World Cup debut in 2011, cherishes another opportunity to test himself at the highest level.
"We don't have much exposure in Russia and we rarely get an opportunity to play against Tier 1 nations, so we look forward to playing highly intense games that we usually don't play," said Artemyev, whose side also face Tier 1 Ireland and Scotland in Pool A.
"There is huge anticipation of the game on Friday night against a squad that is hugely motivated. We also hope to get some support from the Japanese crowd."