FORMER Dragons boss Lyn Jones aims to mastermind a World Cup upset when Russia take on hosts Japan tomorrow morning, writes Chris Kirwan.

The ex-Wales flanker, who was in charge at Rodney Parade between 2013 and 2016, took over as boss of the Bears last summer.

He swiftly started planning for Japan with Russia only making it to the tournament after Romania, Spain and Belgium were docked points for fielding ineligible players in qualification.

Warm-up defeats to Italy, Connacht and Jersey suggest that the Bears will have a tough time in pool encounters with Japan, Ireland, Scotland and Samoa.

But Jones and his management team, which features former Dragons in backs coach Shaun Connor, analyst Will Precious and physio Chris Jenkins, want to ensure Russia finish the tournament on October 9 with the heads held high after giving it a real crack.

South Wales Argus:

"It is both scary and exciting and I've just explained to the players there's nothing we can do to help them prepare for this first game," said Jones.

"It's just about the experience and playing with no fear whatsoever. Just get out there and express yourself. If you play really hard and chase really hard it's amazing what you can achieve."

Japan are tipped to make the Irish and Scots sweat on quarter-final qualification and Jones knows that his men will be tested by their hosts' high-octane style.

"Let me be frank, we have a 20 per cent chance in this game – but that's just on paper," he said.

"Japan are favourites. They are very fast, nobody makes mistakes. We appreciate the way Japan play but we also want to do well and enjoy ourselves."

Russia are ranked 20th in World Rugby's rankings and are playing in the tournament for the second time after losing all four group games in New Zealand eight years ago.