Scotland have made seven changes in personnel and a further positional switch for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Ireland at Murrayfield. Head coach Andy Robinson is urging the team to “restore the pride in all Scotland supporters” after the disappointing 6-24 defeat to Wales.
He declared: “We have made changes with a view to securing our first win of the competition and giving our supporters the lift that they deserve.
“We know that Ireland will bring their own distinct physicality and guile to Murrayfield on Sunday and it is up to our squad to front up to that challenge.
“We must play with belief and eliminate the mistakes which have bedevilled us in our opening two games and we must produce a performance that restores the pride in all Scotland supporters.”
From the team that lost to Wales at Murrayfield earlier this month Hugo Southwell and Joe Ansbro had already been ruled out through injury. Also omitted are half-backs Dan Parks and Rory Lawson, tight-head prop Euan Murray, lock Nathan Hines and No 8 Richie Vernon.
They are replaced respectively by Scotland’s most capped player, Chris Paterson; Sean Lamont; Ruaridh Jackson, who will be making his first start for Scotland as he wins his fourth cap; Mike Blair; Moray Low; the rejuvenated Richie Gray who missed the Welsh game through illness; and his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Johnnie Beattie, who has recovered from shoulder surgery and whose try was a feature of Scotland’s victory over Ireland at Croke Park, Dublin last year.
The positional switch sees Nick De Luca move from inside centre to the No 13 shirt. On the bench Geoff Cross and Simon Danielli are involved in a Scotland 22 for the first time this year.
Tickets are still on sale for this weekend’s international. You can buy your tickets online via www.scottishrugby.org; via the 24-hour telephone hotline 0844 335 3933 or in person from the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre at Murrayfield Stadium, which is open from 9am-8pm until Friday and from 10am-4pm on Saturday. Please note there are no ticket sales on match day.
Scotland team (sponsor Murray) to play Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Sunday 27 February at Murrayfield, kick-off 3pm
15 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) 101 caps, 22 tries, 153 penalties, 87 conversions and 3 drop-goals, 752 points
14 Nikki Walker (Ospreys) 20 caps, 5 tries, 25 points
13 Nick De Luca (Edinburgh) 21 caps
12 Sean Lamont (Scarlets) 52 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
11 Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors) 17 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 1 penalty and 1 conversion, 5points
9 Mike Blair (Edinburgh) 68 caps, 5 tries, 25 points
1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh) 52 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh) 45 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 12 caps
4 Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN 29 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Kelly Brown (Saracens) 42 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
16 Scott Lawson (Gloucester) 24 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh) 2 caps
18 Nathan Hines (Leinster) 69 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
19 Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps
20 Rory Lawson (Gloucester) 24 caps
21 Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues) 58 caps, 4 tries, 44 penalties, 13 conversions, 13 drop goals, 217 points.
22 Simon Danielli (Ulster) 26 caps, 6 tries, 30 points
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales). Assistant referees: Andrew Small (England) and Pascal Gauzere (France). TMO: Graham Hughes (England)