Home Rugby Scotland drop Finn Russell to bench Ireland make changes for key Six Nations clash

Scotland drop Finn Russell to bench Ireland make changes for key Six Nations clash


Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn has changed common fly-half Finn Russell as one in all two adjustments for his or her last sport of the Six Nations towards title-chasing Eire in Dublin on Saturday.

Russell has been a mainstay on this 12 months’s championship however is on the bench in a shock swap by coach Gregor Townsend.

“We see this as an opportunity for Blair. He’s been in really good form,” Townsend advised reporters on Thursday. “He wasn’t available for our match last week, but the week before that he played his best game of the season against Connacht.”

Townsend admits it was not a simple dialog to have with Russell, however believes a change is required.

“When you give someone news that they’re not starting they’re initially disappointed but they support the team,” he stated. “With Blair’s strengths, he’s a very good passer, an excellent runner, he has a long-kicking game and he moves well between phases.

“He senses the place the house may seem within the defence very effectively.”

The other change to the starting XV from the team that defeated Italy 33-22 in Rome last weekend sees lock Jonny Gray, who missed the last two games with injury, replace Sam Skinner.

Kinghorn has been impressive for Edinburgh during the United Rugby Championship in recent weeks, including in a victory over Irish side Connacht, and will partner scrum-half Ali Price.

Chris Harris and Sam Johnson are the centre pairing, while captain Stuart Hogg is at fullback and makes up the back three with wings Kyle Steyn and Darcy Graham. Duhan van der Merwe sits out the second game of a three-match suspension.

Hooker George Turner will have props Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson either side of him, while Grant Gilchrist makes up the lock pairing with Gray.

The back row contains flankers Hamish Watson and Rory Darge, with Matt Fagerson at No. 8.

Scotland can finish as high as third with a victory on Saturday. Victory for France over England in Paris in the late game will secure a Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, Ireland have made three changes with Mack Hansen replacing Andrew Conway on the wing.

British & Irish Lions No. 8 Jack Conan also returns to the back of the scrum, while Iain Henderson has been named at lock for a game Ireland will likely have to win to stand a chance of claiming the Six Nations title.

Conway has a knee harm so Hansen is restored to the beginning lineup having been spectacular on debut towards Wales within the opening sport of the championship. He additionally performed towards Italy and France, however was dropped towards England final weekend.

Henderson is available in for James Ryan, who was concussed inside two minutes of the 32-15 win at Twickenham within the incident that noticed Charlie Ewels obtain a purple card.

Conan was additionally spectacular off the bench in that sport as Eire pulled clear within the last 20 minutes and he will get the nod forward of flanker Peter O’Mahony.

Meaning Caelan Doris switches from quantity eight to the blind-side of the scrum, with Josh van der Flier at open-side.

Captain Johnny Sexton will kind the half-back pairing with scrum-half Jamison Gibson Park, whereas Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose are retained within the midfield.

Hansen and James Lowe are on the wing, with Hugo Keenan at fullback.

The entrance row would be the similar because the one which struggled at instances towards England, with props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong alongside hooker Dan Sheehan, whereas lock Tadhg Beirne companions Henderson.

For Eire to high the standings they’ll in all probability must beat Scotland and hope England win in Paris, although there are a number of eventualities involving bonus factors and factors distinction that imply a draw, or perhaps a defeat, could possibly be ok for both facet.

Eire XV:

Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson Park, Jack Conan, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Robbie Henshaw.

Scotland XV:

Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Kyle Steyn, Blair Kinghorn, Ali Worth, Matt Fagerson, Hamish Watson, Rory Darge, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Grey, Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Josh Bayliss, Ben White, Finn Russell, Mark Bennett.

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