Frank Hadden has announced a largely unchanged Scotland rugby team to face Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Scotland: Chris Paterson, Simon Danielli, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans, Phil Godman, Mike Blair (Captain), Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Locks x2 (from: Jim Hamilton, Nathan Hines, Alastair Kellock and Jason White), Alasdair Strokosch, John Barclay, Simon Taylor
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Moray Low, 18 TBC, Scott Gray, Chris Cusiter, TBC, Hugo Southwell
As expected, Mossy gets the shout at 15, while Dickinson comes in for Chunk in a 1-for-1 swap—although they do represent two different types of one. He’s held off on the lock selection to see how training goes this week.
We’re all hoping Hines is fit (see my post below from earlier), so that affects the selection on the bench too. Interestingly, the other bench slot held by De Luca last week seems like it may be being held open until after fitness tests, for Rory Lamont perhaps?
Meanwhile, Ireland has announced a team with four changes including Stringer and D’Arcy in—plenty of experience there but if it was a choice between Stringer and either of our scrum-halves, I know which one I’d pick.
Strangely, in-form eight Jamie Heaslip has been dropped to the bench. Is Kidney picking a team to target specific areas, having previously picked the same starters in the last three? Or is he penalising their sluggish performance against England?
Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; O’Gara, Stringer; Horan, Best, Hayes; O’Callaghan, O’Connell; Ferris, D Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: Murphy, Wallace, O’Leary, Court, Flannery, O’Driscoll, Heaslip.