Press "Enter" to skip to content

Scotland keep faith with backline ahead of Ireland test

Blindside flanker Adam Ashe comes in for Robert Harley while prop Ryan Grant replaces Alasdair Dickinson in a front row where Euan Murray will win a Scottish prop record 66th appearance.


The only other change in the squad named on Thursday is on the bench where Tim Visser replaces Johnnie Beattie, reverting the selection to a five-three split among the forward and back replacements following last week’s defeat by England at Twickenham.

That was Scotland’s fourth in a row, leaving them bottom of the standings and they go into Saturday’s game (1430 GMT) facing an Ireland team gunning for a victory that could see them retain the title.

Scotland played well in defeats by France and Wales and though they dipped when losing at home to Italy, they showed promise again last week to lead at halftime at Twickenham before eventually falling 25-13.

“We’ve played with a huge amount of spirit and courage, are putting teams under pressure and are scoring tries, which is encouraging, but we want to go one better this Saturday against Ireland,” Cotter said in a statement.

“They are coming to Edinburgh believing they can win the title, while we will be going out there desperate to throw everything at our last Championship match to win the game and repay the support of our fans.”

Scotland team: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Dougie Fife, 13-Mark Bennett, 12-Matt Scott, 11-Tommy Seymour, 10-Finn Russell, 9-Greig Laidlaw (captain); 8-David Denton, 7-Blair Cowan, 6-Adam Ashe, 5-Jonny Gray, 4-Jim Hamilton, 3-Euan Murray, 2-Ross Ford, 1-Ryan Grant.

Replacements: 16-Fraser Brown, 17-Alasdair Dickinson, 18-Geoff Cross, 19-Tim Swinson, 20-Rob Harley, 21-Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22-Greg Tonks, 23-Tim Visser.

(Editing by Julien Pretot)