ALL week, Scotland have been talking about dealing with Russia's kicking game when the teams meet in Shizuoka in their key Rugby World Cup clash. The Russians, though, may have a surprise up their sleeves.

"We are mainly focused on our attack now, because we have shown we can kick the ball and that we can defend a little bit," said Alexander Voytov, Russia's assistant coach.

"It has been huge progress in our game compared with last year. At least we can do something. Preparing for Scotland we have been concentrating on our attack, playing with the ball, keeping in our hands and trying to show our physicality one more time.

"We will try to use the ball and play a bit wider to use our big centres to win the game."

While it is unlikely they will abandon the tactics that have served them well so far this tournament, they have a highly experienced midfield partnership – Dmitry Gerasimov, who has scored 10 tries in his 66 caps, and Vladimir Ostroushko, whose 48 caps include all Russia's World Cup games across two tournament and have brought him 25 tries.

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Add Vasily Artemyev, their Irish-educated full-back and captain – the second player to be marking his eighth World Cup appearance, and the Russian record try scorer on 29 – and they believe they have the players to exploit any vulnerability in the Scottish midfield.

Were they able to hold Scotland to fewer than four tries or even do the unthinkable and win, it would have a galvanising effect on the game in Russia, said Voytov, though the realistic goal is for the older players in this squad to get big-match experience so they can get to work on the next generation.

"We have a lot of players who are finishing their careers so the main thing is that, when they come back to Russia, they will spread the knowledge they have gained about the level of the game." Voytov added.

"Hopefully after this tournament some of them will become coaches who know how to work at the level we need to be at to achieve things and can show that by example.

"We are starting to develop rugby very, very fast in Russia but a lack of coaches is holding us back. We invite a lot of foreign coaches but we need some young Russian coaches an,d in a couple of years, some of the guys who finish after this World Cup will continue as coaches and bring all the knowledge from this World Cup back to Russia."