Picking The Ireland Team To Take On Scotland At The Aviva Stadium Next Weekend

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

New era.

Ireland begin their 2020 Six Nations Championship campaign with a visit of Scotland to the Aviva Stadium next weekend in Andy Farrell’s first game as their newly-appointed head coach.

Farrell has been with Ireland for a number of years as their defence coach but was recently promoted to the top job following Joe Schmidt’s exit after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

And he’s already been putting his stamp on things, dropping regulars such as Rob Kearney, Jordi Murphy and Rhys Ruddock, while bringing in fresh blood in guys like Caelan Dorris, Max Deegan and Billu Burns.

But how will things look in terms of his starting XV next weekend? Will he make many changes? It’s hard to tell. No doubt things will look different, just how different remains to be seen.

Obviously with Rob Kearney out we’ll have a new man at fullback. Jordan Larmour looked poised for the fifteen shirt but with the Leinster prodigy a doubt for the Scotland game, it looks like Will Addison will slot in.

In terms of the wingers, we expect Jacob Stockdale to be on the left wing with maybe Andrew Conway on the right because Keith Earls is another man who is an injury doubt.

In the centre, Garry Ringrose is guaranteed to start 13 but who will partner him? Bundee Aki hasn’t been in great form while Henshaw and Farrell have been up and down. McCloskey meanwhile has been a revelation but with him being left out of the original squad we reckon it will be Henshaw lining out alongside his provincial teammate.

New captain Johnny Sexton is expected to be fit in time and take his place at ten but the big question is who will partner him? John Cooney has been one of the form players in Europe this season but we still don’t see Farrell dropping Conor Murray who has just come off the back of a man of the match performance against Ospreys.

In terms of the pack, Ronan Kelleher has been a revelation this season and if he’s fit and ready we reckon he’ll be packing down with Healy and Furlong either side of him.

Ryan and Henderson will likely partner in the second-row with some big calls to be made in the back-row. Personally I’d go with Stander at six, O’Mahony at seven and Dorris at eight.

Potential Ireland XV vs Scotland

15. Will Addison
14. Andrew Conway
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. CJ Stader
7. Peter O’Mahony
8. Caelan Doris