Rugby - World Cup

Team Guide: Russia

Your definitive team guide to the Rugby World Cup.

 
Team Guide: Russia - Rugby - World CupPA Photos
 

RUSSIA

Colours: Red shirt, white shorts.

Nickname: Bears.

World ranking: 19.

Coach: Nikolay Nerush.

Russia have lost more Tests than they have won under Nerush, but his hand has been strengthened for the World Cup with the appointments of former Sale Sharks director of rugby Kingsley Jones as team director and ex-England back Henry Paul as backs coach.

Squad:

BACKS Born Caps Tries Cons Pens DGs Pts

Vasily Artemyev 24/7/87 25 9 0 0 0 45

Mikhail Babaev 19/1/86 33 1 0 0 0 5

Andrey Bykanov 25/5/80 7 0 0 0 0 0

Igor Klyuchnikov 7/1/83 49 5 6 4 0 49

Yury Kushnarev 6/6/85 43 6 38 70 0 316

Andrey Kuzin 29/10/78 59 19 0 0 0 95

Alexey Makovetskiy 27/3/83 11 2 0 0 0 10

Vladimir Ostrushko 30/9/86 16 5 0 0 0 25

Konstantin Rachkov 8/10/78 26 7 13 27 9 169

Alexander Shakirov 20/1/81 46 4 0 0 0 20

Denis Simplikevich 11/3/91 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sergey Trishin 12/12/84 35 6 0 0 0 30

Alexander Yanyushkin 30/10/82 42 6 7 15 0 89

FORWARDS

Denis Antonov 17/9/86 2 0 0 0 0 0

Vladimir Botvinnikov 30/6/84 15 1 0 0 0 5

Adam Byrnes 29/7/81 0 0 0 0 0 0

Artyom Fatakhov 8/9/79 37 1 0 0 0 5

Andrey Garbuzov 7/8/83 31 5 0 0 0 25

Vyacheslav Grachov 22/4/73 36 14 0 0 0 70

Victor Gresev 31/3/86 32 7 0 0 0 35

Alexander Khrokhin 10/7/76 67 7 0 0 0 35

Vladislav Korshunov 13/2/83 54 5 0 0 0 25

Evgeny Matveev 15/4/85 29 5 0 0 0 25

Andrey Ostrikov 2/7/87 15 1 0 0 0 5

Sergey Popov 7/9/82 14 0 0 0 0 0

Ivan Prishchepenko 26/5/82 33 4 0 0 0 20

Mikhail Sidorov 19/11/86 1 0 0 0 0 0

Alexey Travkin 2/8/77 46 1 0 0 0 5

Valeriy Tsnobiladze 3/11/80 4 0 0 0 0 0

Alexander Voytov 7/12/81 44 3 0 0 0 15

Key player: Vasily Artemyev.

Artemyev has joined Northampton for the next English season after impressing the Saints with his pace, awareness and raw talent in last year’s Churchill Cup. The wing or full-back speaks English with an Irish accent, as he attended Blackrock College and University College Dublin, representing Irish Schools and Ireland Under-19s in the process.

2010-11 form:

6/11/10 v Japan (Tokyo) L 3-75

5/2/11 v Spain (Madrid) W 28-24

12/2/11 v Portugal (Sotchi) L 19-21

26/2/11 v Romania (Bucharest) L 3-33

12/3/11 v Ukraine (Odessa) W 41-5

19/3/11 v Georgia (Sotchi) L 9-15

8/6/11 v Canada (Esher, England) L 18-34

18/6/11 v USA (Worcester, England) L 25-32

World Cup pedigree:

Did not qualify: 2003, 2007.

Did not enter: 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999.

Record:  Debut.

High:

Without doubt reaching their first World Cup finals this year, after being knocked out in the final European qualifying round four years ago.

Low:

The 2003 qualification tournament, from which they were expelled for fielding three South African-born players who were ineligible.

Hero: Alexander Gvozdovskiy.

It was the winger’s brace of tries that secured a 21-21 draw with Romania in Sotchi on February 27 last year – the result which clinched the Bears’ first appearance in a Rugby World Cup.

Villains: The Spanish Rugby Union.

They complained to the International Rugby Board, after three South Africans played for Russia in their two-legged RWC qualifying win over Spain in 2002. The IRB kicked the Bears out of the competition and although Russia appealed, claiming all three had a Russian grandparent, the IRB rejected the appeal.

2011 prospects:

The Bears will give their all on their tournament debut, of that there is no doubt, but recent form suggests they are likely to finish propping up their pool and will do well to escape a few drubbings. 

Group matches:

15/9/11 v USA (New Plymouth)

20/9/11 v Italy (Nelson)

25/9/11 v Ireland (Rotorua)

1/10/11 v Australia (Nelson)

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