The Russian squad:
Ian Rubin (captain)
|Group 1 news
Newcomers to the World Cup, Russia will struggle in a group containing giants Australia and England and will need to harness all their resources to avoid being on the end of some humiliating score lines.
The fledgling rugby league nation will also be hard pressed to contain the adventurous running of Fiji but, on the plus side, their players will gain invaluable experience at international level and the country's presence in the competition will do wonders for the profile of the game in Russia.
Players from Russia's top two league clubs Locomotiv and Spartak will form the bulk of the squad.
Following a heavy 82-0 defeat against France in a World Cup warm up match in June the Russian management look overseas for leadership in the team. Sydney City Roosters prop Ian Rubin, who was born in Russia will skipper the side, and there is great expectation of wing Mikhail Piscunov who enjoyed a successful season with French champions Toulouse.