Russia plan to spoil Japan's big day by bringing "chaos" to the opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and they'll be captained in their quest by a Blackrock College old boy. 

Vasily Artemyev, who came to Ireland to improve his English, won 15 of 16 cup games for the school and landed one Junior and two Senior Cups during his spell in South Dublin. 

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The Brave Blossoms begin their home tournament by hosting Lyn Jones' side in Tokyo on Friday, raising the curtain on six weeks of rugby which culminates in the final in Yokohama on 2 November.

But Russia - beaten 85-15 by Italy during a warm-up series that also saw them lose to Connacht and Jersey - hope to spring a surprise by inflicting a defeat that would do serious damage to Japan's ambition of making it out of a pool that also features Ireland, Scotland and Samoa.

"We watched the last four or five games of Japan,"  Artemyev told the tournament's official website.

"They have a very structured, organised game.

"We need to bring chaos into their organisation."

Japan coach Jamie Joseph has made seven changes to the side beaten 41-7 by South Africa earlier this month.

Joseph's men had to overturn a 22-10 half-time deficit to win 32-27 when these sides last met in Gloucester in November and captain Michael Leitch admits the nerves have been evident in training.

"I'm so nervous I've been making all sorts of mistakes in training - there's so many people and so many cameras," he told a press conference.

"We've trained well, prepared well and this will be Japan's best World Cup ever" - Michael Leitch

"But I'm very proud to be part of the World Cup and to be captain of the Japan rugby team.

"We have a lot of respect for Russia and we were very lucky to win last time we played them.

"I wouldn't say we were favourites - I'd say we were even going into this Test match and if we don't play our best we're going to struggle."

Leitch skippered the Japan side who pulled off the biggest upset in World Cup history when they beat South Africa 34-32 in Brighton four years ago.

"In 2015 everyone expected us to lose - even the Japanese public," he commented.

"But when we beat South Africa, all eyes were on us. The next game against Scotland, 30 million people were watching.

"Even though we lost, it inspired Japan. This time we've got the opportunity to inspire Japan again.

"We've trained well, prepared well and this will be Japan's best World Cup ever."

Follow Ireland v Scotland on Sunday (kick-off 8.45am) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and  the News  Now  App, watch live on RTÉ2 from 8am or listen to live match commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.