Ireland team named for Six Nations opener

Joe Schmidt's side face Scotland on Saturday in Edinburgh

BY Daniel Kelly 14:03 Thursday 2 February 2017, 14:03 2 Feb 2017

Ireland team huddle at training on Thursday in Carton House. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Joe Schmidt has named his Ireland team to play Scotland this weekend in Edinburgh.

Rory Best captains the team, from the front row. He is joined either side by Leinster props Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong. In the second row, Devin Toner and Iain Henderson have been paired together.

CJ Stander starts at blindside flanker. He joins the Leinster duo of the returning Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip to complete the pack.

In the backs, Paddy Jackson starts as expected, in place of the injured Johnny Sexton. The Ulster fly-half is joined in the half-backs by Conor Murray.

Rob Henshaw and Garry Ringrose start an international match together for the first time. The Leinster duo have never played together in Ringrose's three previous caps for Ireland. The pair have played with each other on nine occasions at provincial level.

In the back three, Rob Kearney starts at full back, with Munster's Simon Zebo and Keith Earls on either wing. Andrew Trimble's groin injury rules him out of the game.

On the bench, there is a return to international rugby for Tommy Bowe. The Monaghan native has not played for Ireland since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  There is also a return for Munster's Ian Keatley. The fly-half has not played for Ireland since the opening round of the Six Nations in 2015.

Hooker Niall Scannell could also make his debut from the bench. He is joined by Munster team mate John Ryan and Cian Healy in the front-row replacements.

Earlier today, Scotland named their side for the game. They are looking for their first win over Ireland in the competition since 2013.

Ireland team and replacements to face Scotland

(15-9): Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Rob Henshaw, Simon Zebo, Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray.

(1-8): Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements (16-23): Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Tommy Bowe.


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