5 Talking Points As Ireland Team Named For Six Nations Clash With Scotland

Three down, two to go.

Joe Schmidt this afternoon named his Ireland team to take on Scotland at the Aviva Stadium this weekend, with some big calls made.

Garry Ringrose as expected comes in a 13 to replace the injured Chris Farrell. Tadhg Furlong is also back in the starting line-up, but Iain Henderson will have to make do with a spot on the bench.

Leinster prodigy Jordan Larmour also makes the squad for the first time since the Italy game. While Jordi Murphy has been preferred to Jack Conan on the replacements bench.

Here are five talking points.

Henderson benched.
The Ulster lock is back to full fitness, but has been unable to get his jersey back from Devin Toner. Joe Schmidt says it’s purely tactical, with the Ireland coach hoping to utilise Henderson’s explosiveness from the bench. Not a bad man to have coming on with 20 or 30 minutes to go.

Furlong is back.
Once aptly given the nickname “the jukebox” because “the hits keep on coming,” Furlong is a huge addition to Ireland’s starting line-up. Arguably the best tighthead in world rugby, he can scrum, pass, carry and tackle. Will be a huge asset against Scotland, who are known to be menacing at the breakdown especially.

Ringrose starts.
The young centre has been cast straight back into the starting line-up because of Ireland’s injury problems in the centre. We all know how good he can be, but expecting him to get straight off the mark in a such a big game so soon, is a big ask for the youngster. Especially given the form of the likes of Finn Russell and Huw Jones for Scotland against England. Huge game for him.

Larmour is in.
Fergus McFadden was poor when he came on against Wales, and was clearly at fault for one of their tries. His loss is Jordan Larmour’s gain, with the exciting young star set to earn just his second cap. Scotland’s style of play will suit him if he gets a good run out. The more open the game is, the more chances he will get to shine. Schmidt has also suggested either he or Earls could end up at 13 if Ringrose is unable to finish the game.

Murphy over Conan.
Conan was always going to be under pressure after his defensive error against Wales. But there’s more to this than just that one mistake. Murphy is a different style of back-row. He offers a better work-rate, and is very good at the breakdown. He might not carry as well as Conan, but Murphy’s qualities perhaps suit the Scotland game that little bit better than his provincial teammate.

Ireland team v Scotland:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Dan Leavy
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Iain Henderson
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Joey Carbery
23. Jordan Larmour