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Farrell set to stick with settled Ireland team for visit to Scotland

Ireland are looking for their second win of the 2021 Six Nations.

Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw at Ireland training today.
Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw at Ireland training today.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND HEAD COACH Andy Farrell is set to name a settled team for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland in Edinburgh.

With Farrell keen to build on a bonus-point win over Italy two weekends ago, he is likely to back many of the players who impressed in Rome, although a fully-fit squad has left him with a handful of selection dilemmas this week.

Will Connors is in line to retain his place in the back row alongside Tadhg Beirne and CJ Stander, while Tadhg Furlong – part of Ireland’s leadership group – could also keep his spot in the front row. Dave Kilcoyne’s impressive showing before a head injury against Italy means he has been pushing hard for the loosehead spot but Cian Healy’s greater experience could win out.

Andrew Porter has been in good form at tighthead but Furlong is a Test Lion and has been building in fitness during this championship. Rob Herring started at hooker earlier in the championship against Wales and France, performed well, and is valued by Farrell, although Kelleher pressed his claim with a dynamic showing in Rome. 

The first-choice second row pairing of Iain Henderson and James Ryan looks certain to be retained.

Hugo Keenan’s strong form means he is favourite to be named at number 15 and though Jacob Stockdale has returned to the squad from injury, Farrell could retain James Lowe on the left wing.

Jordan Larmour suffered a hip flexor injury against Italy and was replaced by Keith Earls at half time but the Leinster man has recovered from that issue, leaving Farrell with a tough call on the right wing.

Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw are expected to start together in midfield once again, while Johnny Sexton will captain the team from the number 10 shirt.

Jamison Gibson-Park has been in fine form at scrum-half in the absence of Conor Murray due to injury over the last two games, and though the Munster man is due to make his return from a hamstring issue, he may be used off the bench.

Ireland are due to officially name their matchday 23 before midday tomorrow.


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Possible Ireland XV v Scotland:

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Jordan Larmour/Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Cian Healy
2. Rónan Kelleher/Rob Herring
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Will Connors
8. CJ Stander.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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