Declan Kidney has told his team not to keep anything in reserve in the World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at Murrayfield today. "When you play a Test match, there's no holding back," Ireland's head coach said. "You either go for it or you don't. If you operate at 80 or 90 per cent, you increase your chances of picking up a knock."
Which is what Ireland have done at Murrayfield before the last two World Cups. In 2003, Geordan Murphy suffered a compound fracture of the tibia. In 2007, in the pre-match warm-up, Shane Horgan tore knee ligaments. Which is one reason why Kidney has held back on selection and picked a virtual shadow starting line-up.
With doubts about the fitness of centre Gordon D'Arcy and flanker Stephen Ferris, there will be no risks taken with Brian O'Driscoll, nursing a neck problem. Full back Rob Kearney, scrum-half Tomas O'Leary and hooker Jerry Flannery return after injury.
Scotland have Graeme Morrison back at inside-centre and Johnnie Beattie at No 8. Head coach Andy Robinson also gives Ross Rennie a first start.
Robinson intends to give time in the No 10 jersey to either Chris Paterson, who starts at full-back, or scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, who starts on the bench.
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); N Walker (Ospreys), J Ansbro (London Irish), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets); R Jackson (Glasgow), R Lawson (Gloucester, capt); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Gray (Glasgow), A Strokosch (Gloucester), R Rennie (Edinburgh), J Beattie (Glasgow). Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow), A Dickinson (Sale), A Kellock (Glasgow), D Denton (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), N De Luca (Edinburgh), J Cuthbert (Bath).
Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); A Trimble (Ulster), F McFadden (Leinster), P Wallace (Ulster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster); J Sexton (Leinster), T O'Leary (Munster); T Court (Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), T Buckley (Sale), D Ryan (Munster), L Cullen (Leinster, capt), M McCarthy (Connacht), N Ronan (Munster), D Leamy (Munster). Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), M Horan (Munster), J Hayes (Munster), M O'Driscoll (Munster), K McLaughlin (Leinster), I Boss (Leinster), F Jones (Munster).
Referee: W Barnes (England).