Kinghorn to make first Scotland start against Ireland

Blair Kinghorn scoring for Edinburgh against Krasny Yar. Image

The Ireland head coach is expected to make three changes to the side that beat Wales.

Leinster's Furlong had missed the Wales game with injury, along with Iain Henderson, who is back among the replacements.

Injuries to Robbie Henshaw and Chris Farrell mean that Ringrose will step into the no.13 jersey against Scotland despite only returning from a lengthy absence himself, with the Leinster man having only played six games so far this season.

Schmidt sought to draw a line under that perception in Carton House today while also declaring Iain Henderson "fully fit" for Saturday's tilt at capturing the Six Nations title with one round to play.

Ringrose has only featured in six games for Leinster this season but looked sharp in a 50-minute run out two weeks ago and Schmidt said he was hopeful such a smart player can hit the ground running on his global return. Sometimes you don't have the luxury of options as is the case at centre for us now.

'We're hoping he can hit the ground running and get straight back into that form. Tadhg Furlong, 4. James Ryan, 5.

Otherwise, it's as you were for the starting XV with four changes on the bench where Andrew Porter, Henderson, Jordi Murphy and Jordan Larmour replace John Ryan, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan and Fergus McFadden.

"He was extraordinary when he played previous year", Ireland fullback Rob Kearney added.

Discounting playing whipping boys Italy they have won just twice in 37 trips overseas in the Six Nations - although one of those came in Dublin in 2010 at Croke Park denying the Irish the Triple Crown.

Ringrose partners Bundee Aki - who has played every second of this championship - in midfield, while Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray continue their half-back double act after coming through training this morning with no reaction to glute and knee niggles respectively. Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, A Porter, I Henderson, J Murphy, K Marmion, J Carbery, J Larmour.

"With France they've got big boys so if we can move them around in the early part of the game then that'll be a big bonus for us, and (if we can) keep the scoreboard ticking".

Ireland: Kearney; Earls, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best (capt), Furlong; Ryan, Toner; O'Mahony, Leavy, Stander.



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