Scotland drop Finn Russell for Ireland game

Scottish outhalf makes way for Blair Kinghorn for game in Dublin

Scotland's Blair Kinghorn has replaced regular outhalf Finn Russell as one of two changes for their final game of the Six Nations against title-chasing Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Russell has been a mainstay in this year's championship but is on the bench in a surprise switch by coach Gregor Townsend.

The other change to the starting XV from the team that defeated Italy 33-22 in Rome last weekend sees lock Jonny Gray, who missed the last two games with injury, replace Sam Skinner.

Kinghorn has been impressive for Edinburgh during the United Rugby Championship in recent weeks, including in a victory over Connacht, and will partner scrumhalf Ali Price.


Chris Harris and Sam Johnson are the centre pairing, while captain Stuart Hogg is at fullback and makes up the back three with wings Kyle Steyn and Darcy Graham. Duhan van der Merwe sits out the second game of a three-match suspension.

Hooker George Turner will have props Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson either side of him, while Grant Gilchrist makes up the lock pairing with Gray.

The back row contains flankers Hamish Watson and Rory Darge, with Matt Fagerson at number eight.

Scotland can finish as high as third with a victory on Saturday.

Victory for France over England in Paris in the late game will secure a Grand Slam.

For Ireland to top the standings they will probably have to beat Scotland and hope England win in Paris, though there are a variety of scenarios involving bonus points and points difference that mean a draw, or even a defeat, could be good enough for either side.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Kyle Steyn; Blair Kinghorn, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Rory Darge, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson. Replacements: Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Josh Bayliss, Ben White, Finn Russell, Mark Bennett.