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Japan vs Russia, 2019 Rugby World Cup – Preview, Prediction, Head to Head, Team Squads and Live Streams

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The 2019 Rugby World Cup gets in progress as hosts Japan go head to head against Russia in a Group A fixture in the opening match at the Tokyo Stadium. Japan commencement the 2019 Rugby World Cup as they hope to expand on the accomplishment of their 2015 campaign.

Japan and Russia are both in Pool A and alongside Ireland, Scotland and Samoa as are both viewed as rank outsiders the advancement.

The opening game of the competition will be the greatest moment in Russia’s fledgling history as a rugby country. They are trained by Welshman Lyn Jones, however, their 85-15 thrashing at the hands of Italy showed how far they are from being competitive against Tier 1 opposition.

Hosts Japan are on something of an island between Tier 1 and Tier 2, totally predominant in the last-mentioned however not exactly adequate to establish an impression against the enormous boys. They are the Pacific Nations Cup and with the benefit of the home, the advantage will have the desire to arrive at the last-eight.

The top two qualify for the knock out stages yet completing third is significant as that brings you into the 2023 World Cup without qualifying. We could have had an additionally exciting opener to be reasonable. Maybe having the defending champions New Zealand playing would have been much better.

Japan are ranked 10th in the world and their adversaries are 20th. The Japanese team have never made it out of their group in a World Cup competition. In 2015 however, they caused a major shock when beating South Africa yet at the same time completed third in their group. They have won five of their past six games against Russia who are contending in these finals for just the second time. Their last appearance was in 2011 when they lost every one of the four of their matches, a comparative destiny anticipates them in 2019. Japan can win this match, back them on a – 36 handicap.

Read more: Rugby World Cup 2019 – Schedule, Fixtures and Live Streams


Japan will get the 2019 Rugby World Cup in progress with a conflict against Russia in Tokyo as the hosts endeavor to advance out of the pools for the first time in their history and will trust they can proceed with the form they appeared in the ongoing IRB Pacific Nations Cup.

The Japanese will feel like they have been given perhaps the best draw that they could have sought after and are likely going to fight it out with Scotland for second place in Pool A with Ireland short-priced top picks to top the group.

Japan will hope to accomplish third place in the pool at the very least which would secure their spot at the 2023 World Cup and captain Michael Leitch will be the driving force behind their endeavors at flanker.

Japanese Head Coach Jamie Joseph has named a side with eight players from the 2015 shock prevail upon South Africa in Brighton, England. Captain Michael Leitch began as did hooker Shota Horie, winger Kotaro Matsushima while Fumiaki Tanaka, Luke Thompson, and Hendrik Tui will be substitutions versus Russia however begun versus South Africa. Raised from the bench in Brighton to beginning in Tokyo are prop Keita Inagaki and fly half Yu Tamura.

Leitch is among Japan’s leading players and will have a lot of ability around him including Kazuki Himeno. The No8 is seemingly Japan’s best back-row product of the modern era.

In the backs, Ryoto Nakamura is an exciting center and will form an extraordinary 10-12 partnership with Tamura. Out wide Kotaro Matsushima will hope to add to his streak of attempts which has seen him scoring in five of Japan’s previous six test matches.

The pressure is all on Japan for the opening 2019 Rugby World Cup match. Before a packed house, they are relied upon to perform well against what is especially a semi-pro Russian outfit. Japan were all around beaten by South Africa in their last match 41-7.

Japan are up for this World Cup and once the nerves have settled they definitely get an opportunity of an irritated later on in the group stage against Scotland. In any case, early on, in wet and humid conditions with the pressure on them, they may get off to a moderate beginning.

Winning shouldn’t be an issue for Japan, they will probably win convincingly however they can’t covering the – 40 handicap on opening night. Their speed and ability are sufficient to transform Russia over however Japan will fear to get into a physical fight with the enormous Russian pack.

On the off chance that it is wet and tricky conditions expect many set pieces which the Russians will target. The key to Japan’s prosperity will be the strategies of Jamie Josephs. At this point, he realizes the conditions well while captain Michael Leitch should carry the physical edge to the host’s game.

Japan are heavy top picks for triumph at 1.002 while a draw will pay 67.00.


Russia will want to make the most of their chance to show up in simply their second Rugby World Cup after they qualified by virtue of Romania’s disqualification for fielding ineligible players during qualifying.

The Russians have always lost a game at the Rugby World Cup having lost each of the four of their games in New Zealand in 2011 and their ongoing form likewise leaves a ton to be wanted with Italy putting them to the sword as they yielded 85 points in their warm-up game.

Russia are probably going to be dependent on 34-year-old fly-half Yuri Kushnarev on the off chance that they are to have a successful competition and his experience will be crucial to directing his side around the field however he will need support from his colleagues.

Russia are captained by RWV 2011 returnee Vasili Artemyev. He will lead the side from fullback, forming a back-three trio with Kirill Golosnitsky, and German Davydov. They are to be among Russia’s leading weapons to confront the Japanese.

The Russian Bears additionally have a significant center pairing in Dmitry Gerasimov, and Vladimir Ostroushko. The two players have shown their capacities both on attack and defense.

Of the forwards, a strong first line has been selected of Valeri Morozov, Stanislav Selskiy, and Kirill Gotovtsev. It is, be that as it may, not Russia’s best which recommends player rotation will factor in for their second match against Samoa on Tuesday.

Russia head into the 2019 Rugby World Cup as top picks to take the wooden spoon in Pool A. As far as quality they are some separation off different teams in their pool yet that doesn’t mean they won’t be competitive.

Russia’s last match came in Rome against a full-strength Italian outfit. It wasn’t a decent evening for Russia as Italy ran out 85-15 champs. They do anyway have some form after beating Namibia and Argentina’s third-string side preceding the Italian game.

Natural ability isn’t something the Russians possess in bucket loads however they have the physicality to match numerous sides. Set pieces will be a strong point for them and on the off chance that they can force Japan into those circumstances, they will cause issues. The leadership of head coach Lyn Jones and captain Vasily Artemyev will be extraordinarily significant as well.

Russia lost 32-27 to Japan in Gloucester a year ago and keeping in mind that neither one of the sides was at full-strength, it’s unusual that the bookmakers have given the guests a +40 handicap. Considering the moist climate and a wet ball, the match may suit Russia as far as the forward play they like to get into.

Russia are enormous underdogs at 34.00 for the success however that is a very unlikely result. Japan should run out comfortable victors however at 1.90, Russia are an incredible value to cover the +40 handicap.

Date: Friday 20th September 2019
Time: 11:45 UK, 03:45 Pacific, 06:45 Eastern, 07:45 Buenos Aires
Venue: Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo
TV Channel/Live Stream: ITV 1, ITV Hub, Spark Sport, In Japan: Nippon TV, NHK, and J Sports.

Read more: 2019 Rugby World Cup Live Streams

Japan vs Russia Head to Head (h2h)

Japan have won their last three experiences against Russia. Their last experience was in 2018 when Russia held a 22-10 lead in Gloucester. The Japanese rallied in the second stanza and eventually walked away with a narrow 32-27 triumph.

Japan and Russia have met six times before the World Cup opener, with Japan winning five to Russia’s one. Russia’s solitary triumph over the Brave Blossoms came in 2003.

Last time: Japan were successful 32-27 over Russia in Gloucester on November 24, 2018.

Japan vs Russia Team Squads


William Tupou, Kotaro Matsushima, Timothy Lafaele, Ryoto Nakamura, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Yu Tamura, Yutaka Nagare; Kazuki Himeno, Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch (c), James Moore, Wimpie van der Walt, Asaeli Ai Valu, Shota Horie, Keita Inagaki.

Reserves: Atsushi Sakate, Isileli Nakajima, Jiwon Koo, Luke Thompson, Hendrik Tui, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryohei Yamanaka.

Read more: 2019 Rugby World Cup Team Squads


Vasily Artemyev (c), German Davydov, Vladimir Ostroushko, Dmitry Gerasimov, Kirill Golosnitskiy, Yury Kushnarev, Vasily Dorofeev, Nikita Vavilin, Tagir Gadzhiev, Vitaly Zhivatov, Bogdan Fedotko, Andrey Ostrikov, Kirill Gotovtsev, Stanislav Selskii, Valery Morozov.

Reserves: Evgeny Matveev, Andrei Polivalov, Azamat Bitiev, Andrey Garbuzov, Anton Sychev, Dmitry Perov, Ramil Gaisin, Vladislav Sozonov.

Japan vs Russia Prediction

Japan shocked the world at the last Rugby World Cup when they pulled off one of the most extraordinary aftereffects ever. They defeated South Africa with a splendid presentation however were not able to capitalize as they failed to progress to the knockout stages. They will seek after better karma in the competition they are hosting and can get off to a decent start against Russia with the Pacific Nations Cup champions ready to expand on the form they appeared in that competition.

Japan look sure to get their competition off to a triumphant beginning. They are ranked 10th in the world however as well as can be expected trust in this group is a third-place finish. Russia are ranked 20th and didn’t have a decent warm-up for this competition. Losing 85-15 to Italy demonstrates they will battle in this competition, particularly against Ireland and Scotland. Go for Japan to win this match on a -36 handicap.


Matthew Gregor decided that he wanted to become a writer at the age of 16, when his high school football team won a big game. He wrote a poem about this, and two days later the poem was published in the local newspaper. When he began his professional writing career, Matthew attempted to write books. Matthew’s writing direction changed and he writes news and articles. He is now onboard with Time Bulletin as a free lance writer.