Russia announces squad for UK tour

The Rugby Union of Russia has today announced its 34-strong squad which will travel to the UK for four games this month, including a visit to the Liberty Stadium to face the Ospreys on Sunday 21st August (KO 3.00pm).


The Russian national side, known as the Bears, will also play Northampton Saints and Gloucester from England's Aviva Premiership, as well as visiting Rodney Parade to face Newport Gwent Dragons.

These are the final games before the team departs for New Zealand for Russia's first-ever appearance at the Rugby World Cup.

The squad is dominated by players from Russian champions VVA-Podmoskovye, but five of Russia's other seven Super League clubs are also represented.

The squad includes Vasily Artemyev, who will open the tour against his new club side Northampton Saints, and Andrey Ostrikov, who will also get the chance to play against some of the opposition he will face next year when playing for his new club Sale Sharks.

Two other players who were not at the Bears' training camp in Sochi in July also join the squad. Vladimir Ostroushko has successfully recovered from a groin injury, and lock Adam Byrnes, who qualifies through ancestry on his mother's side, joins from Super 15 side Melbourne Reds.

Russian squad for UK tour:

Denis Antonov, Slava-ShVSM (Moscow) Vasily Artemyev, Northampton Saints (England) Mikhail Babaev, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Vladimir Botvinnikov, Enisey-STM (Krasnoyarsk) Andrey Bykanov, Slava-ShVSM (Moscow) Adam Byrnes, Melbourne Rebels (Australia) Artem Fatakhov, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Igor Galinovskiy, Krasniy Yar (Krasnoyarsk) Andrey Garbuzov, Krasniy Yar (Krasnoyarsk) Viatcheslav Grachev, Bizanos (France) Victor Gresev, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Alexander Khrokin, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Igor Klyuchnikov, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Kirill Kopeshkin, Imperia (Penza) Vladislav Korshunov, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Yury Kushnarev, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Kirill Kushnarev, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino)  Andrey Kuzin, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino)  Alexey Makovetskiy, Krasniy Yar (Krasnoyarsk) Evgenii Matveev, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Andrey Ostrikov, Sale Sharks (England) Vladimir Ostroushko, Enisey-STM (Krasnoyarsk) Sergey Popov, Slava-ShVSM (Moscow) Ivan Prishchepenko, Krasniy Yar (Krasnoyarsk) Konstantin Rachkov, Stade Phoceen (France) Alexander Shakirov, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Mikhail Sidorov, Slava-ShVSM (Moscow) Sergey Sugrobov, Slava-ShVSM (Moscow) Andrey Temnov, Enisey-STM (Krasnoyarsk) Alexey Travkin, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Sergey Trishin, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Valeriy Tsnobiladze, Novokuznetsk (Novokuznetsk) Alexander Voytov, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino) Alexander Yanyushkin, VVA-Podmoskovye (Monino)

The squad will be coached by Head Coach Nikolay Nerush, National Teams Director Kingsley Jones, and Backs Coach Henry Paul.Following the tour, the team will travel to Russia before flying to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. The Bears will be in Group C where they will face the United States (September 15), Italy (September 20), Ireland (September 25), and Australia (October 1).