Rugby pitch adrenalin not enough for Russian players

A visit to an adventure park has been included in Russia’s training plan for their last Rugby World Cup game against Australia.

­It’s been a tough debut World Cup for the Russians, but they were finally given a chance to let their hair down at a local adventure park in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Jumping off a 43-meter platform might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it was for Denis Simplekevich.

The 20-year-old completed one life-long ambition by scoring a try on his World Cup debut, while the Novokuznetsk native also undertook his very first bungee jump.

However, the winger wasn’t the only one wanting a piece of the action. His fellow back Vasily Artemyev was equally as keen to throw himself from an ungodly height. And the Northampton Saints player said it was a fantastic thrill.

“It’s awesome. I’ve dreamt about something like this before. This is a dream come true,” he said.  

The players were like kids in a candy store and would try out the rides time after time, even though some of Russia’s charges seemed more interested in getting better acquainted with the local animal population.

England recently got roundly criticized for doing similar activities, but Russian coach Kinglsey Jones couldn’t have been more different in his approach, saying it’s a wonderful distraction for the players.

“I think it’s important. We worked hard for a hundred and twenty days and the players need to refresh, recharge now,” he stressed. Also there are a lot of technical things we have to work on.   

Jones believes the players have to be fresh both physically and mentally for the clash against Austrailia.  

Russia will now move to Nelson on Wednesday ahead of their final game of the tournament, and when the tournament finishes for them on Saturday they will certainly have some great memories. 

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