Rob Kearney returns at full-back as Ireland make five changes

09 February, 2019, 18:26 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Greig Laidlaw and Stuart Hogg testing the winds at Murrayfield yesterday

Rob Kearney has been recalled at full-back by an injury-hit Ireland for their Six Nations global away to Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday as the reigning champions look to return to winning ways.

Ireland's defence of their Grand-Slam title ended at the first hurdle last weekend going down to a comprehensive 20-32 defeat to their English counterparts in Aviva Stadium.

Injury to Devin Toner sees Quinn Roux coming into the XV while Sean O'Brien and Jack Conan make a comeback replacing Sean O'Brien and CJ Stander respectively.

Munster Rugby centre Chris Farrell is also brought back instead of Leinster's Garry Ringrose, who picked up an injury against England.

Schmidt said of Chris Farrell's starting berth: "Robbie [Henshaw] has a dead leg and just hasn't recovered in time".

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Ultan Dillane is placed on the bench to fill Roux's spot. The problem is he maybe could have played.

Schmidt, asked if Kearney would have been included at full-back even if Henshaw had been fit, replied: "Probably once Garry Ringrose was ruled out it was going to be trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time".

"You've got Chris Farrell sitting in the wings, massively motivated to do his best". 'So it's a great opportunity to get him in and give him a run. Joe Schmidt said. "It's a pretty exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell the chance to play against Scotland".

Kearney is set to win his 88th cap for Ireland, having made 75 appearances in Europe's elite club competition for Leinster, scoring 17 tries.

Toner's absence has exacerbated the prior lock losses of Iain Henderson to a finger problem and Tadhg Beirne to a knee complaint.

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