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Ireland may be the best team in the world right now, but they’ll still need to defeat Scotland in their final pool game if they’re to avoid the embarrassment of yet another World Cup failure. The Scots have set up a cracker of a final weekend match, and we look at all the men who will be featuring in the Ireland vs Scotland lineups this Saturday evening.
Ireland vs Scotland lineups and news
Scotland failed their first big test of this World Cup against South Africa, losing 18-3. Now, however, they have a second chance against an Irish team that have looked excellent this tournament. Here’s how the Ireland vs Scotland World Cup lineups are looking ahead of this match:
Team news: Ireland
Unsurprisingly, Ireland are sticking with their policy of playing a near full strength team every match this Rugby World Cup. Coach Andy Farrell has made just the two changes to the side which defeated South Africa two weeks ago. Iain Henderson comes into lock instead of James Ryan, while Dan Sheehan will return to hooker, displacing Ronan Kelleher. Other than that, the core of this Irish team remains consistent, and largely injury free as well.
15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter
Bench: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 James Ryan, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Stuart McCloskey.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 6, 2023
Team news: Scotland
Scotland, on the other hand, have wrung wholesale changes from the last team we saw them field. After putting a comprehensive 84-0 score on Romania, 12 players fail to retain their spots. An all new front row is made up of Pierre Schoeman, George Turner and Zander Fagerson, while behind them Grant Gilchrist and Richie Gray pack down in lock. Ritchie, Darge and Dempsey make up the back three in the Scottish pack.
The impressive Finn Russell will be back in control of Scotland for this match, with Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones outside him in the midfield. Rounding out the backline, the powerful Duhan van der Merwe comes back into the team, while Blair Kinghorn gets a start at fullback too.
15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Jamie Ritchie (c), 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Bench: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 WP Nel, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 Luke Crosbie, 22 George Horne, 23 Ollie Smith.
Will Jonny Sexton play today?
Yes. Ireland’s crucial first-five will be playing against Scotland on Saturday. In fact, it’s been more than 12 years since Jonny Sexton has lost to a Scottish team, either in international or club rugby, with the pivot winning his last 24 matches on the bounce. He’ll square off against Finn Russell in what will likely be a game deciding head to head, and also probably the final time these two British and Irish Lions players will face off against each other.
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