Home Rugby World Cup 2019 Rugby World Cup Preview – Japan v Russia

Rugby World Cup Preview – Japan v Russia


It would be a major upset if Russia would to do what Argentina did in 2007 and beat the host in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup.

Japan has welcome the world of rugby to their country in one of the most special moments in our game. The people of Japan has embrace the World Cup and the teams visiting their country for the next month or so.

They will start the 2019 Rugby World Cup when they host Russia in the opening match.

Japan head coach Joseph has selected a strong side to run onto the park in the opener.

Leitch will lead the side and will be one of eight players that defeated the Springboks back in 2015.

Tamura who has made the most test appearances than any other while Joseph

Luke Thompson who will play of the bench will become the oldest player to represent Japan when he come on the field on Friday.

When he do come on the field he will be the only player that would have represented Japan in four World Cups.

Russia is an unknown side for most of us with not much of their test being showed. They may have a lot of heart and passion going into this match but Japan should take this one easily.

Japan have said from the start that they will play a fast game spreading the ball and playing their opponents of their feet. With the great handling speed and interplay from the Japanese it may as well be a high scoring game at the end.

Defence will be crucial not just in this match but throughout the World Cup and we just can not see Russia being able to hold off the skill and speed of Japan in this test.

Prediction: Japan will have just too much for Russia. They will take the win with +15 points. Russia will give some resistance but it will not be enough.


Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Lomano Lemeki, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 James Moore, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Asaeli Ai Valu, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Jiwon Koo, 19 Luke Thompson, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka

Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev (c), 14 German Davydov, 13 Vladimir Ostroushko, 12 Dmitry Gerasimov, 11 Kirill Golosnitskiy, 10 Yury Kushnarev, 9 Vasily Dorofeev, 8 Nikita Vavilin, 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Vitaly Zhivatov, 5 Bogdan Fedotko, 4 Andrey Ostrikov, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Valery Morozov
16 Evgeny Matveev, 17 Andrei Polivalov, 18 Azamat Bitiev, 19 Andrey Garbuzov, 20 Anton Sychev, 21 Dmitry Perov, 22 Ramil Gaisin, 23 Vladislav Sozonov

Date: Friday, September 20
Venue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)


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