Ireland shuffle injury-hit pack
March 7, 2012
Eoin Reddan starts at scrum-half for Ireland © Getty Images
Ulster hooker Rory Best will captain Ireland in Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland, having overcome a rib injury to deputise for Paul O'Connell.
The 29-year-old will lead his country for the third time - after taking the armband against the USA and Canada in 2009 - after O'Connell was ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a knee problem.
The lock's place in the side has been taken by his Munster team-mate Donnacha Ryan, with Connacht's Mike McCarthy stepping onto the bench.
Leinster's Eoin Reddan has been promoted to start at scrum-half following an injury to Conor Murray, with Tomas O'Leary returning to the international fray among the replacements.
Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien has also been named in the starting line-up despite some fears over his fitness, while Keith Earls and Donncha O'Callaghan will also be monitored after missing training with knocks following last weekend's draw with France.
Scotland have made one change to their starting line up. Nick de Luca comes in to the XV with Sean Lamont switching to the wing in place of his injured brother Rory.
Andy Robinson has opted to shuffle his pack on the bench with Euan Murray, Ruaridh Jackson and Max Evans coming into the replacements in place of Ed Kalman, Duncan Weir and De Luca respectively.
Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster, capt), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), D Ryan (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster).
Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), T Court (Ulster), M McCarthy (Connacht), P O'Mahony (Munster), T O'Leary (Munster), R O'Gara (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster)
Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), L Jones (Edinburgh Rugby), N De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby), M Blair (Edinburgh Rugby); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), R Ford (Edinburgh Rugby, capt), G Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Gloucester) J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby), D Denton (Edinburgh Rugby)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), E Murray (Newcastle Falcons) A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), R Vernon (Sale Sharks) C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), M Evans (Castres)
Referee: C Pollock (NZ)
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