Bears send for Simplikevich to face Ireland - again

Russian winger called in from cold to try to repeat his try-scoring feat against them at RWC 2011.

TOKYO, 1 Oct - Denis Simplikevich has been named in Russia's team to face Ireland for their third RWC 2019 match in Kobe on Thursday - just as he was eight years ago in New Zealand against the same opponents.

Russia coach Lyn Jones has made nine changes to the starting XV beaten 34-9 by Samoa, but by far the most intriguing is Simplikevich, who plays his club rugby for  Enisei-STM in Russia.

Just as in New Zealand in 2011, Simplikevich has not featured in Russia's first two matches, but eight years ago he marked his RWC debut, as a 20-year-old, by scoring a try against Ireland in a 62-12 defeat in Rotorua.

Simplikevich is one of only three players (the others are Samoa's George Harder and Fiji's Rupeni Caucaunibuca) from a team outside Tier 1 to score a try in each of their first two World Cup matches against Tier 1 opposition.

The nine changes made by Jones between matches are the most by the Bears in RWC history. The six players that were in the starting XV against Samoa - and will have started in all three RWC 2019 matches for Russia - are Kirill Gotovtsev, Bogdan Fedotko, Tagir Gadzhiev, German Davydov, Kirill Golosnitskiy and Vasily Artemyev.

However, Yury Kushnarev, Russia's record test caps holder and their all-time leading points scorer, has not been included in the match-day 23 for the match at Kobe Misaki Stadium. Kushnarev scored 14 of Russia's 19 points in their first two matches in Japan. 

Russia

1. Andrei Polivalov
2. Evgeny Matveev
3. Kirill Gotovtsev
4. Andrey Garbuzov
5. Bogdan Fedotko
6. Anton Sychev
7. Tagir Gadzhiev
8. Victor Gresev
9. Dmitry Perov
10. Ramil Gaisin
11. Denis Simplikevich
12. Kirill Golosnitskiy
13. Igor Galinovskiy
14. German Davydov
15. Vasily Artemyev (capt.)

16. Stanislav Selskii
17. Valery Morozov
18. Vladimir Podrezov
19. Andrey Ostrikov
20. Evgeny Elgin
21. Sergey Ianiushkin
22. Roman Khodin
23. Vladimir Ostroushko

RNS yw/ns