Six Nations

Kearney starts for Ireland against Scotland

2019-02-07 16:34
Rob Kearney (AP)

Dublin - Rob Kearney has been recalled at fullback by an injury-hit Ireland for their Six Nations international away to Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday as the reigning champions look to return to winning ways.

Robbie Henshaw, a British and Irish Lions centre who struggled at full-back in last week's tournament-opening 32-20 loss at home to England, has dropped out of the matchday 23 due to a dead leg injury.

Meanwhile Chris Farrell partners Bundee Aki in midfield following a Dublin defeat that ended their hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams. 

"Robbie has a dead leg and just hasn't recovered in time," said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

"We're just going to have to forge ahead, but it's an exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell a run against Scotland. He's coming back to form after a long lay-off," Schmidt added.

Farrell was selected after Garry Ringrose, who played against England, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The experienced Kearney, who will win an 88th Ireland cap in Edinburgh, has been working his way back to full fitness following a thigh problem.

Schmidt, asked if Kearney would have been included at full-back even if Henshaw had been fit, replied: "Probably once Garry Ringrose was ruled out it was going to be trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time."

Meanwhile the New Zealander also made several, mainly injury-induced, changes to Ireland's pack.

Sean O'Brien was recalled for his 53rd cap after breaking his arm against Argentina in November in place of Josh van der Flier while Jack Conan was given a start at No 8 after CJ Stander suffered severe facial injuries against England.

Meanwhile Quinn Roux, like Stander born in South Africa, came into the second row in place of the sidelined Devin Toner.

Ireland captain Rory Best will win his 115th cap at Murrayfield despite concerns over the veteran hooker's line-out throwing against England.

The Irish beat Scotland 28-8 in Dublin last season but two years ago they lost 27-22 at Murrayfield.

Their cause was not helped by the team bus being late to the Edinburgh ground, prompting Schmidt to remark after the defeat that "we did not get off the bus".

This is Schmidt's last Six Nations in charge of Ireland before he stands down after this year's World Cup in Japan.

Teams

Scotland 

15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland; 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain); 8 Josh Strauss, 7 James Ritchie, 6 Ryan Wilson; 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist; 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Allan Dell

Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 D'arcy Rae, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Ali Price, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn

Ireland 

15 Rob Kearney; 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale; 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 8 Jack Conan, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony; 5 James Ryan, 4 Quinn Roux; 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 John Cooney, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour

Read more on:    ireland  |  scotland  |  six nations  |  rob kearney  |  rugby

 

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Saturday, 23 February 2019
France v Scotland, Stade de France 16:15
Wales v England, Principality Stadium 18:45
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Italy v Ireland, Stadio Olimpico 17:00
Saturday, 09 March 2019
Scotland v Wales, BT Murrayfield Stadium 16:15
England v Italy, Twickenham Stadium 18:45
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