Conan debut amid wholesale changes to Ireland side for Scotland game

Conan debut amid wholesale changes to Ireland side for Scotland game

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has rung the changes once again for this weekend’s game against Scotland in the Aviva Stadium.

The two sides meet at 5pm on Saturday as Ireland continue their build-up to the World Cup in September.

Joe Schmidt names his team.

Mike Ross is the only player to keep his position from Ireland’s win against Wales last week - he is joined in the front row by Dave Kilcoyne and Sean Cronin. In the second row Devin Toner comes in and is joined by Ulster’s Dan Tuohy.

23-year-old Jack Conan will earn his first Irish cap on Saturday. The Leinster back-row will start at blindside alongside Chris Henry at openside, with captain Sean O’Brien at the base of the scrum.

Conan debut amid wholesale changes to Ireland side for Scotland game

Jack Conan at training in Maynooth today.

Simon Zebo has been keen to emphasise his versatility as he looks to nail down a place in the 31-man squad. He gets the chance to prove it this weekend, starting at full-back.

Tommy Bowe and Luke Fitzgerald are named on the wings, while veteran Gordon D’arcy has also been handed an opportunity to prove his worth. He starts at inside centre, partnered with Jared Payne at 13.

Ian Madigan starts at 10 with Isaac Boss alongside him in the half-backs.

Paul O'Connell moves up to the bench for the first time since last season, Nathan White will hope to earn an overdue cap at some stage of the second-half while the likes of Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent will be equally eager to make an impact.

The announcement means that Cian Healy, Marty Moore, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney, Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton have yet to play a part in the warm-up games with another meeting with Wales and a trip to face England in London to come.

Joe Schmidt and the squad in Maynooth today.

Ireland enjoyed a comfortable 35-21 win against Wales in the opening game of this Summer Series, but the victory came at a cost.

Tommy O’Donnell suffered a dislocated hip during the game, and the injury has ruled him out of the upcoming World Cup. Andrew Trimble also picked up an injury, to his foot, and won’t play any part in Saturday’s game.

Scotland named their team for the match earlier today. Vern Cotter has also opted for an experimental side in what will be Scotland's first warm-up with his selection being dominated by the news that Kiwi-born Hugh Blake starts in the back row despite limited game time with Edinburgh.

Ireland team: (15-9)Simon Zebo, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; (1-8) Dave Kilcoyne, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy, Jack Conan, Chris Henry, Sean O’Brien-capt.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent, Nathan White, Paul O'Connell, Jordi Murphy, Eoin Reddan, Paddy Jackson, Dave Kearney.

Ireland v Scotland at the Aviva Stadium Saturday August 15 - kick-off

Breakingnews.ie head sports reporter Shaun Cronin talks to Irish Examiner journalist Brendan O’Brien about the team selection.


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