Scotland and Ireland turn to experience
February 23, 2011
Chris Paterson returns for Scotland © PA Photos
Glasgow fly-half Ruaridh Jackson has ousted Dan Parks from the Scotland side for Sunday's Six Nations clash with Ireland at Murrayfield.
The youngster will make his first Test start in a re-vamped side, which also sees Chris Paterson recalled at fullback to win his 102nd cap.
The Edinburgh veteran replaces the injured Hugo Southwell while Sean Lamont has been drafted into midfield following a knock to Joe Ansbro. The Scarlets man, Scotland's stand-out in defeat to Wales two weeks ago, starts at inside-centre with Nick De Luca moving to the No.13 jersey.
Mike Blair returns to partner the inexperienced Jackson at halfback while there are further changes in the pack. Glasgow lock Richie Gray is fit after illness to join skipper Al Kellock in the second-row.
Gray's comeback means a drop to the bench for Leinster's Nathan Hines as the 'Killer Bs' back-row of Kelly Brown, John Barclay and Johnnie Beattie has been restored. Moray Low replaces Euan Murray at tight-head due to the Newcastle prop's religious beliefs preventing him from playing on a Sunday.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has recalled Ronan O'Gara at fly-half. The Munster veteran will partner Eoin Reddan at halfback following after Tomas O'Leary failed to recover from a back problem, with Leinster's Jonny Sexton dropping to the bench.
Ospreys flyer Tommy Bowe is fit to return on the wing and displaces Fergus McFadden, a try-scorer against France, from the 22. Luke Fitzgerald and Keith Earls complete the back-three. O'Leary's injury also means a recall to the squad for O'Gara's long-time Munster team-mate Peter Stringer, who has been named among the replacements.
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); N Walker (Ospreys), N De Luca (Edinburgh), S Lamont (Scarlets), M Evans (Glasgow); R Jackson (Glasgow), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), M Low (Glasgow), R Gray (Glasgow), A Kellock (Glasgow), K Brown (Saracens), J Barclay (Glasgow), J Beattie (Glasgow)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), G Cross (Edinburgh), N Hines (Leinster), R Vernon (Glasgow), R Lawson (Gloucester), D Parks (Cardiff Blues, S Danielli (Ulster)
Ireland: L Fitzgerald (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster); R O'Gara (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster)
Replacements: S Cronin (Connacht), T Court (Ulster), L Cullen (Leinster), D Leamy (Munster), P Stringer (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), P Wallace (Ulster)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal)
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