KUMAGAYA, Japan — Samoa made five changes to the run-on side which lost to Australia 34-15 two weeks ago for its Rugby World Cup opening match against Russia on Tuesday in Kumagaya.
Russia named a squad unchanged from the 30-10 loss to Japan in the tournament opener.
Samoa added captain and flanker Chris Vui, prop Logovii Mulipola, hooker Motu Matu’u, scrumhalf Dwayne Polataivao and winger Ah See Tuala.
Polataivao has never won a game for Samoa outside of the Samoa capital, Apia.
At 37 years, 268 days, flyhalf Tusi Pisi will surpass late captain Peter Fatialofa as the oldest Samoan to play at a Rugby World Cup. Pisi also needs 10 more points to overtake Silao Leaega as the leading point-scorer for Samoa at World Cups.
Captain Vasily Artemyev, center Vladimir Ostroushko, and reserve forward Andrey Garbuzov are the only players to have appeared in all of Russia’s previous five World Cup matches, dating to 2011.
Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams, Ah See Tuala, Alapati Leiua, Rey Lee-Lo, Ed Fidow, Tusi Pisi, Dwayne Polataivao; Afaesetiti Amosa, TJ Ioane, Chris Vui (captain), Kane Le’aupepe, Teofilo Paulo, Michael Alaalatoa, Motu Matu’u, Logovii Mulipola. Reserves: Ray Niuia, Paul Alo-Emile, Jordan Lay, Senio Toleafoa, Josh Tyrell, Melani Matavao, AJ Alatimu, Henry Taefu.
Russia: Vasily Artemyev (captain), 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.