Rugby World Cup diary: Ireland make 11 changes for Russia and name Sexton captain

Scotland coach Townsend delighted to get maximum points against Samoa

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt speaks with fly-half Jonathan Sexton during training
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt speaks with fly-half Jonathan Sexton during training 
(Image credit: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

Ireland vs. Russia

  • What: Rugby World Cup pool A
  • When: Thursday 3 October
  • Where: Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
  • Start time: 11.15am (BST)
  • TV channel: live on ITV

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has made 11 changes to his team to face Russia as the boys in green look to bounce back from their shock loss against Japan.

The Irish were beaten 19-12 by Japan last weekend and the result leaves them second in pool A, three points behind the host nation.

On Thursday Jonathan Sexton will captain a team that only has Rob Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Keith Earls and Peter O’Mahony retained from the Japan defeat.

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Sexton, who returns from injury, will be the 106th player to captain Ireland. The fly-half will be partnered by Luke McGrath while Bundee Aki and Ringrose will play at centre.

Schmidt said: “With a five-day turnaround there’s always going to be a bit of attrition so we’re hoping to freshen it up.”

Back-row forward Jordi Murphy only arrived in Japan on Monday after replacing Jack Conon and goes straight into the team.

Ireland team

  • Starting XV: Kearney, Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Earls; Sexton, McGrath; Kilcoyne, Scannell, Ryan, Kleyn, Beirne; Ruddock, O’Mahony, Murphy
  • Replacements: Cronin, Porter, Furlong, Henderson, Stander, Carty, Carbery, Larmour

Russia team

  • Starting XV: Artemyev; Davydov, Galinovskiy, Golosnitskiy, Simplikevich; Gaisin, Perov; Polivalov, Matveev, Gotovtsev, Garbuzov, Fedotko; Sychev, Gadzhiev, Gresev
  • Replacements: Selskii, Morozov, Podrezov, Ostrikov, Elgin, Ianiushkin, Khodin, Ostroushkosday

Townsend: Samoa win a true picture of ourselves

Scotland got their campaign up and running on Monday after a 34-0 victory against Samoa kept their pool A qualification hopes alive.

Sean Maitland and Greg Laidlaw scored tries for Gregor Townsend’s side, who were also awarded two penalty tries in the bonus-point win. Laidlaw added points by kicking two conversions and a penalty.

After losing 27-3 to Ireland in their opening game Townsend was pleased with his side’s performance against Samoa.

“They showed who they are,” Scotland’s head coach told the BBC. “Showed through their courage, their energy they brought and the pressure they put on a very good team. That’s a true picture of ourselves. Last week wasn’t, for whatever reason.

“It was hard work. These are big men we’re up against, you have to hit them hard. Our pressure told. First half was an excellent performance. We stuck to our task and were delighted to get the maximum points.”

After two games played host nation Japan top pool A with nine points, Ireland are on six, Scotland and Samoa are on five and Russia are bottom on zero points.

Scotland’s two remaining pool matches are against Russia on 9 October and Japan on 13 October.

Next fixtures at the Rugby World Cup

There were no pool fixtures on Tuesday, so the next action is on Wednesday. France play the United States in pool C (8.45am BST) and in pool B New Zealand face Canada (11.15am BST).

RWC fixtures

  • Wednesday 2 October: France vs. USA (8.45am; Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka; ITV 4)
  • Wednesday 2 October: New Zealand vs. Canada (11.15am; Oita Stadium, Oita; ITV 4)
  • Thursday 3 October: Georgia vs. Fiji (6.15am; Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka; ITV 4)
  • Thursday 3 October: Ireland vs. Russia (11.15am; Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe; ITV)
  • Thursday 4 October: South Africa vs. Italy (10.45am; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka; ITV 4)
  • RWC fixtures, UK start times and TV guide
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