Russians plot Japan shock in World Cup opener

TOKYO (AFP) – Russia coach Lyn Jones said yesterday he had a cunning plan to ambush hosts Japan in this week’s Rugby World Cup opener, revealing only that it involves a little mayhem.

The Russians, known as the Bears, will tower over their opposite numbers when they line up in Tokyo tomorrow, but few people are giving them much chance of springing an upset against the world’s 10th-ranked side.

“With structured and organised sides like Japan you need to create chaos to get them to think for themselves,” Jones told AFP after naming a full-strength side led by his skipper Vasily Artemyev.

“I don’t know if they’re educated to do that, but it’s all theory anyway.

“We do have a plan. We have got a formula and we think we can take Japan on and make life as difficult as possible for them.”

Russia gave Japan a fright the last time the teams met in November last year, the Brave Blossoms scraping to a 32-27 victory in Gloucester.

“We just need to enter that last 20 minutes with everything to play for,” said Jones.

“Let’s be realistic – there’s probably a 20 per cent of us winning the game,” he admitted ahead of the Pool A fixture.

Russia’s rugby head coach Lyn Jones speaks next to the team’s captain Vasily Artemyev at a press conference in Tokyo, ahead of their Rugby World Cup match against Japan. PHOTO: AP