Ireland team vs Scotland, Six Nations 2019: The starting XV

Quinn Roux

Sexton endured an uncomfortable time as a muscular England forced a much-vaunted Ireland side, 2018 Grand Slam champions and November conquerors of the All Blacks on to the back foot, up against the ropes for most of a one-sided contest in Dublin last Saturday that ended with a 32-20 defeat for the Irish.

"So for Johnny to come back and strike round that side of the ruck might be an option".

Meanwhile, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has recalled Saracens wing Sean Maitland, who has recovered from a hamstring injury. "But Finn always seems to rise to the occasion".

Things will be very different in Yokohama in September when these sides kick off their World Cup campaign against each other, but Ireland will be delighted to have kept the Scots at arm's length.

Instead, they went to the corner and this time it was Scotland's turn for a big defensive set as they repelled the men in green through 12 phases before Murray threw a pass to nobody and Earls was penalised for holding on on the deck under pressure. Wales did so four years ago after starting with a 30-22 defeat by Ireland in Cardiff.

The replacement out-half was called upon after just 24 minutes in Ireland's 22-13 Guinness Six Nations win over Scotland after Johnny Sexton was called ashore.

"We're hurting", said Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony.

"There's no better challenge than going to Murrayfield and having to put in a performance".

"We've obviously got a lot of improving to do as well but we had to wear them down, they're well-organised in defence and we knew they would be very unsafe in attack, and by and large we fronted up to our task as we had to".

He takes the place of Robbie Henshaw, who picked up a knock during training and is among the five changes Joe Schmidt has made for the game.

Quinn Roux replaces the injured Devin Toner in the second-row, with Jack Conan replacing CJ Stander at No 8. They might have to change their tactics if they end up chasing the game because we're far enough ahead. We gave Ireland the set-piece and they were able to exit their half, and it's always hard to score from deep.

After that, a lovely move that saw the ball change hands between Irish players in the middle saw Jacob Stockdale surge through and leave the Scotland forwards in his wake as he ran beneath the posts.



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