Russia makes 9 changes for Ireland

KOBE, Japan (AP) — After playing the same side against Japan and Samoa in five days, Russia made nine changes to the starting lineup facing Ireland in the Rugby World Cup on Thursday in Kobe.

The only six starters retained on Tuesday for a third straight Pool A match are prop Kirill Gotovtsev, lock Bogdan Fedotko, flanker Tagir Gadzhiev, midfielder Kirill Golosnitskiy, wing German Davydov, and fullback and captain Vasily Artemyev.

Flyhalf Yuri Kushnarev, Russia's all-time record holder for caps and points, missed out on the matchday 23.

Russia lost to Japan 30-10 and, four days later lost to Samoa 34-9. Both times Russia faded in the second half.

Left wing Denis Simplikevich and Samoa's George Harder and Fiji's Rupeni Caucaunibuca are the only Tier Two players to score a try in each of their first two World Cup matches against Tier One opposition. Simplikevich can become the first to do it three times.

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Russia: Vasily Artemyev (captain), German Davydov, Igor Galinovskiy, Kirill Golosnitskiy, Denis Simplikevich, Ramil Gaisin, Dmitry Perov; Viktor Gresev, Tagir Gadzhiev, Anton Sychev, Bogdan Fedotko, Andrey Garbuzov, Kirill Gotovtsev, Evgeny Matveev, Andrei Polivalov. Reserves: Stanislav Selskii, Valery Morozov, Vladimir Podrezov, Andrey Ostrikov, Evgeny Elgin, Sergey Ianiushkin, Roman Khodin, Vladimir Ostroushko.

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More AP Rugby World Cup: https://www.apnews.com/RugbyWorldCup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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