Scotland vs Ireland Six Nations match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to Saturday's Six Nations clash between Scotland and Ireland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ireland need to beat Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday by a substantial score to establish a superior points difference over the other two title contenders.

Before last weekend, Ireland were on course for their first Grand Slam in six years. But after a crushing defeat in Cardiff, the reigning champions sit in second-place with an inferior points difference of four less than England.

Joe Schmidt has decided to bring two more British and Irish Lions into his starting line up for Saturday's finale.

Luke Fitzgerald replaces Simon Zebo, who has been dropped from the squad after 10 consecutive starts, while Cian Healey makes his second start of the tournament ahead of Jack McGrath, who drops to the bench.

 

Fitzgerald has not played for Ireland since they lost to New Zealand in November 2013 and it is the first time he will feature under Schmidt at international level.

Two of Ireland's seasoned veterans will surpass national records in Edinburgh. Skipper Paul O'Connell is set to overtake Mick Galwey to become Ireland's oldest captain at 35 years and 152 days, while Rory Best will become the eighth most capped Irishmen of all time when he makes his 83rd Test appearance.

The visitors cannot do anything more than set a target for the English to chase, when they play France in the last game of the tournament on Saturday evening.

9-Greig Laidlaw.jpg
Greig Laidlaw will captain the Scots in search of their first win

Scotland are still searching for their first win of the competition and if they do not put an end to their four-match losing run on Saturday, then they will finish with the wooden spoon for the second time since 2012.

Vern Cotter has made two changes to the team that started against England. Adam Ashe takes over from Rob Harely at blindside flanker and Ryan Grant replaces Alasdair Dickinson at loosehead prop.

Grant and Ashe's inclusion means that Scotland have eight Glasgow Warriors players in their starting XV for Saturdays showdown.

Harley and Dickinson both drop to the bench. They will be joined by Tim Visser, who has been named as a replacement instead of Johnnie Beattie.

Tighthead prop Euan Murray will set a record of his own on Saturday, when he overtakes Alan Jacobsen, to become Scotland's most capped prop with a 66th appearance.

TEAMS:

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Dougie Fife, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Jim Hamilton, Jonny Gray, Adam Ashe, Blair Cowan, David Denton

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Tim Swinson, Rob Harley, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Greig Tonks , Tim Visser 

Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, J Payne, R Henshaw, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D Toner, P O'Connell, P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, M Moore, I Henderson, J Murphy, E Reddan, I Madigan, F Jones.

KICK-OFF: Saturday at 14.30

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Ireland 28 Scotland 6, Six Nations, February 2014

Scotland 12 Ireland 8, Six Nations, February 2013

Ireland 32 Scotland 14, Six Nations, February 2012

STATS:

Ireland have not lost two consecutive away games in the Six Nations since 2008.

Ireland have made the most carries (574) in this year's tournament.

Scotland last beat Ireland in 2013.

Last weekend's loss at the Millennium Stadium was only Ireland's third under Schmidt.

ODDS:

Scotland to win: 4.0

Ireland to win: 1.25

Draw: 21.0

TV: Live on BBC 1 at 14.30

Comments