Six Nations: Ireland team to face Scotland is confirmed

The Ireland team are put through their paces at Carton House in Co Kildare. Picture: PA
The Ireland team are put through their paces at Carton House in Co Kildare. Picture: PA
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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named his 23-man squad to face Scotland on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.

Garry Ringrose will become the third player to wear the Ireland number 13 shirt during this season’s Six Nations after being named at outside centre.

The 23-year-old has finally fully shaken off ankle trouble suffered in January, and slots into midfield to ease the loss of Robbie Henshaw, Chris Farrell and Jared Payne.

Leinster star Henshaw dislocated his right shoulder in Ireland’s 56-19 win over Italy on February 10, and Munster’s Farrell - who replaced Henshaw for the 37-27 win over Wales - tore knee ligaments in training.

Ulster centre Payne, meanwhile, has not played since last summer’s Lions tour to New Zealand, having suffered persistent headaches.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt conceded Ringrose’s selection after just an hour of club rugby with Leinster since January was “needs-must” given the team’s injury problems.

“There’s always concerns about players for different reasons, and Garry’s only had six games in this entire season,” Schmidt said.

“That’s something you calculate in but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a plethora of options.

“Garry’s been extraordinary when he has played for us, he’s done a great job. We’re hoping he can hit the ground running and get straight back into that form.

“He’s a smart player, and hopefully he can get the balance between when he has to work hard and when he can get a breather back on the pitch.

“It’s a needs-must situation, but it’s a situation where we’ve got a lot of trust and faith in Garry.”

British and Irish Lions duo Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson also return after hamstring problems - although Henderson only to the bench, with youngster James Ryan partnering Devin Toner at lock.

Henderson had been widely tipped to slot straight back into the starting line-up, but Schmidt has kept faith with his most-selected player in Toner.

The 31-year-old will this weekend make his 44th Ireland start under Schmidt, in the Kiwi coach’s 54th match at the helm.

Pivotal half-backs Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have also shrugged off knocks in time for Saturday’s Aviva Stadium encounter, where Ireland will chase a fourth successive win in this year’s competition.

Ireland, looking to claim a first Grand Slam in nine years, are currently top of the table on 14 points, five more than second-placed England, who they face in their final match at Twickenham on March 17.

Ireland Team & Replacements v Scotland (NatWest 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, March 10, 2.15)

15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 81 caps

14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 65 caps

13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 11 caps

12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps

11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7 caps

10. Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 71 caps

9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 62 caps

1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 76 caps

2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 109 caps

3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 21 caps

4. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 6 caps

5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 56 caps

6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 45 caps

7. Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps

8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 21 caps

Replacements

16. Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 59 caps

17. Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 45 caps

18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps

19. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 36 caps

20. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 18 caps

21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 19 caps

22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 8 caps

23. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 1 cap