Ireland v Scotland: Irish player profiles
John O’Sullivan runs the rule over the 15 players selected to take on Scotland
Ireland’s Garry Ringrose will make his first start of the 2018 Six Nations in the clash with Scotland. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho
15 Rob Kearney
Weight: 95kg (14st 13lbs)
He faces a different challenge because of the way the Scots like to attack out wide and also in their kicking game, as Finn Russell favours diagonal punting to corners.
14 Keith Earls
Weight: 86kg (13st 7lbs)
He plays like a man who is enjoying his rugby and brings a cutting edge capable of slicing through defences.
13 Garry Ringrose
Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs)
In a season of injury misfortune he profits from one to return to a jersey he’d made his own up until then. He’s a quick, agile, intelligent player and is up against his mirror image in some respects.
12 Bundee Aki
Weight: 101kg (15st 12lbs)
He gets another new midfield partner and will be asked to do most of the heavy carrying. He’s lethal near the line and if he can get his hands free through the tackle then he has the vision to inflict serious damage.
11 Jacob Stockdale
Weight: 102kg (16st)
Another brace of tries the last day, the second of which was a super defensive read and that facet of his game will be important given Scotland’s orientation in attack.
10 Johnny Sexton
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)
Even Homer nods, his place-kicking woes an aberration when weighed against his normal accuracy. The rest of his game was outstanding and a repeat of that general excellence would be ideal.
9 Conor Murray
Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs)
He kicked a penalty when his team needed it most against the Welsh and he might look to take a leaf out of Danny Care’s book with a little lateral running that was the precursor to England’s try against the Scots.
1 Cian Healy
Weight: 115kg (18st 1lb)
He scored his fourth international try against the Welsh in a typically robust, influential performance and should fancy a go at outmanoeuvring his direct opponent at scrum time.
2 Rory Best (capt)
Weight: 105kg (16st 7lbs)
The Scots possess an athletic lineout so Ireland will need to be accurate while the captain is always an important figure at the breakdown.
3 Tadhg Furlong
Weight: 126kg (19st 11lbs)
The Lions tighthead returns to the side for the first time since suffering the hamstring damage against Italy and will look to produce a typically high calibre all-round performance.
4 Devin Toner
Weight: 124kg (19st 7lbs)
He deservedly retains his place in the starting team despite Iain Henderson’s return to fitness and will be a key figure if Ireland are to retain their customary platform out of touch.
5 James Ryan
Weight: 108kg (17st)
The accuracy in most things he does in attack and defence tends to be overshadowed by his sheer athleticism but it shouldn’t be because he’s that good.
6 Peter O’Mahony
Weight: 107kg (16st 11lbs)
This game is tailor made to showcase the qualities he brings to any team in terms of the lineout and the breakdown.
7 Dan Leavy
Weight: 106kg (16st9lbs)
Three tries in seven caps underlines his ability to read a game and he’ll need all that nous to thwart the Scots at the breakdown and apply some serious pressure on Finn Russell.
8 CJ Stander
Weight: 114kg (17st 13lbs)
He has the power game to take on the Scots and as England demonstrated with some of their carriers that can make some serious metres.