Russia to play Welsh sides in World Cup warm-up

Kingsley Jones
Kingsley Jones captained Wales and played for Ebbw Vale and Pontypridd

Former Wales captain Kingsley Jones will bring his Russia side to Wales to play the Dragons and Ospreys in the build-up to the World Cup.

Jones' team, currently ranked 19th in the world, will travel to Rodney Parade on 16 August.

The Russians will visit the Liberty Stadium on 21 August as they prepare for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Russia are pooled with Australia, Ireland, Italy and USA at the tournament which starts on 9 September.

Flanker Jones, a former director of rugby at Sale Sharks, became manager of Russia in February.

And Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Operations Officer, believes the Russians could spring a surprise in New Zealand.

"Rugby is booming in Russia, it's a real growth sport and they are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with so it's fantastic that we can welcome them to the Liberty Stadium," he said.

Hore hopes the contest will also help Ospreys as they build-up to the domestic season.

"It's a game that will be vitally important for both teams in terms of preparation for the following month," added Hore, a former Wales fitness coach.

"It promises to be a great occasion, and a real opportunity for supporters to enjoy a style of rugby, and a team, that while it may be unfamiliar to them, will provide a real test for us."