Rugby World Cup: Russian vows to 'eat' Wallabies winger

Fearless Russian Vladimir Ostroushko has strangely vowed to "eat" powerhouse Wallabies winger Radiko Samo in Saturday's Rugby World Cup clash in Nelson.

Samo, all 117kg and 197cm of him, has been shifted from the back row to the wing as Australia battle an injury crisis ahead of next weekend's sudden-death quarter-finals.

Australia's freakish Fijian-born cult hero will be among the biggest wingers seen at a World Cup since All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.

But Ostroushko, who weighs in at 94kg and stands 184cm tall, is undaunted.

"Playing against such a strong player will surely mean learning much," he said.

"Anyway, I'm not going to be scared. I will eat him tomorrow."

Bookmakers are offering as much as 300-1 for Russia to deliver the biggest boilover in rugby history at Trafalgar Park.

The World Cup newcomers are yet to win a match at the showpiece tournament, but the Wallabies will be pleased enough to escape with a bonus-point victory and no more injuries.

Success with a four-try haul will be enough to clinch Australia a quarter-final berth, most likely against defending champions South Africa.

In addition to Cliffy Palu being ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury, coach Robbie Deans had five players unavailable for selection.

But the Wallabies are chuffed to welcome back match-winning flanker David Pocock after two weeks out with a back problem.

"David's obviously a world class and pretty unique player," Wallabies captain James Horwill said.

"His ability to get in on the ball and have that affect at the breakdown, there's probably only a few other players in the world that have the same affect that he does.

"So to have a guy like that back and fit can only be a bonus for us and I know he hasn't been enjoying sitting and watching the last couple of weeks, so he's pretty pumped to get back out there and rip in."

- AAP


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