Russia v Italy, Rugby World Cup, September 20
Russia name side for Azzurri clash
September 18, 2011
Vyacheslav Grachev retains his place in the Russian back-row for the meeting with the Italians © Getty Images
Russia boss Nikolay Nerush has made four changes in personnel for Tuesday's Rugby World Cup Pool C clash with Italy at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.
Konstantin Rachkov, who started at outside centre in last week's 13-6 defeat by the USA, takes over at fly-half from Yury Kushnarev, who drops to the bench, with Andrey Kuzin coming into the midfield.
The inclusion of Victor Gresev at No.8 prompts a back-row reshuffle which sees Vyacheslav Grachev switch to the blindside and Andrey Garbuzov move to the openside. Artem Fatakhov is the man to drop out.
Elsewhere, Australian-born lock Adam Byrnes, who came on as a replacement against the Eagles, is preferred to Denis Antonov in the second-row, while Sergey Popov replaces Vladimir Botvinnikov at loose-head prop.
Looking ahead to the game, fullback Igor Klyuchnikov revealed that the Bears are confident of avoiding the mistakes they made in their tournament opener.
"Our main problem was that we have lost the ball frequently, did not have long-lasting attacks and therefore were forced to spend much time in defence," he said.
"We will apply different tactics against Italy. We are training various combinations in defence and attack. Our forwards are working on lineouts especially as we had many errors at throw-in against the USA."
Russia: Igor Klyuchnikov; Vasily Artemyev, Andrey Kuzin, Alexey Makovetskiy, Vladimir Ostroushko; Konstantin Rachkov, Alexander Shakirov; Vladimir Botvinnikov, Vladislav Korshunov (capt), Ivan Prishchepenko; Alexander Voytov, Adam Byrnes; Vyacheslav Grachev, Andrey Garbuzov, Victor Gresev.
Replacements: Valery Tsnobiladze, Alexander Khrokin, Denis Antonov, Artem Fatakhov, Alexander Yanyushkin, Mikhail Sidorov, Yury Kushnarev.
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