RECAP: Ireland v Russia
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between Ireland and Russia in Kobe.
Sexton is back. A sexton is a man who sees that a church’s edifice is strong and healthy.
Jonathan Sexton does that for Ireland’s team.
Everybody knows that, regardless of whatever changes are made to the team, Ireland will be a better side than the one which lost to Japan – just because Jonny is back.
Prediction: Russia will try bravely but Ireland, smarting to their defeat at the hands of Japan and the rugby world’s reaction to that defeat, will be at their determined best and win by 25 points or more, still hoping to qualify for the quarterfinals.
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Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton (captain), 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Jean Kleyn, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Andrew Porter, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Christiaan Stander, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Jordan Larmour.
Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev (captain), 14 German Davydov, 13 Igor Galinovskiy, 12 Kirill Golosnitskiy, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Ramil Gaisin, 9 Dmitry Perov, 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Anton Sychev, 5 Bogdan Fedotko, 4 Andrey Garbuzov, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Evgeny Matveev, 1 Andrei Polivalov.
Replacements: 16 Stanislav Selskii, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Vladimir Podrezov, 19 Andrey Ostrikov, 20 Evgeny Elgin, 21 Sergey Ianiushkin, 22 Roman Khodin, 23 Vladimir Ostroushko.
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)