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Garry Ringrose set to return to Ireland's 13 shirt for Scotland clash

Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson are fully fit for Saturday’s Six Nations contest.

GARRY RINGROSE IS set to return to Ireland’s 13 shirt for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland in Dublin [KO 2.15pm].

The Leinster man hasn’t played for Joe Schmidt’s side since last summer’s tour of the US and Japan, having had bad luck with injuries so far this season.

Garry Ringrose breaks free to score the first try of the game Ringrose most recently played for Ireland last summer. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ringrose missed the November Tests after undergoing shoulder surgery following Ireland’s summer tour, while he has been absent for the opening three rounds of this Six Nations as he has been recovering from ankle surgery.

The 23-year-old made his playing return for Leinster two weekends ago in a facile Pro14 win over the Southern Kings, but Saturday’s clash will be a step up for the 11-times capped midfielder.

With Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne and Chris Farrell all currently injured, Schmidt will be hopeful that Ringrose can get back up to Test match speed swiftly and show his proven class at this level once again.

Ringrose is likely to be part of an otherwise unchanged Ireland backline, with Jacob Stockdale, Rob Kearney and Keith Earls set to continue in the back three, Bundee Aki favourite to wear the 12 shirt, and Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton sure to be the starting halfbacks again.

Up front, Schmidt has had to decide whether the fit-again Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson come straight back into his starting XV after missing the win over Wales two weekends ago through injury.

Andrew Porter was excellent in Furlong’s absence, although the Wexford native’s greater experience is hard to ignore. James Ryan and Devin Toner were strong in the second row against the Welsh, but Henderson has been a first-choice whenever fit in recent times under Schmidt.

At loosehead prop, Jack McGrath has been pushing to come back into the side in place of Cian Healy, with Schmidt having indicated before the championship that he would rotate between the two Leinster men in this position.

The back row of Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Dan Leavy has a settled look to it, while captain Rory Best will lead the side from hooker again.

On the bench, Jack Conan has been under increased pressure from Jordi Murphy after a defensive error against Wales, while Fergus McFadden has also been feeling the heat from 20-year-old Jordan Larmour.

Possible 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. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Dan Leavy
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

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

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Murray Kinsella

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