Six Nations 2018: Ireland's Furlong and Ringrose to start against Scotland


Ringrose returns to the side after a lengthy injury absence and will line up alongside Bundee Aki, with Chris Farrell sidelined after an injury picked up in training following a man-of-the-match display in the victory over Wales.

However, county Tyrone-born Farrell then suffered a season-ending knee injury in training last week, which made Ringrose's inclusion for this weekend's game nearly a certainty.

15-Rob Kearney, 14-Keith Earls, 13-Garry Ringrose, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray; 8-CJ Stander, 7-Dan Leavy, 6-Peter O'Mahony, 5-Devin Toner, 4-James Ryan, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Rory Best (captain), 1-Cian Healy.

The only concern is that the 23-year-old has played just six games for Leinster this season, with shoulder and ankle injuries denying him a real opportunity to kick on from last year when he started nine straight games for Ireland. At the same time sometimes you don't always have the luxury of a plethora of options. Keith Earls' line break, Johnny's line break, Jacob Stockdale in the corner.

The knock-on effect of Tadhg Furlong's welcome return sees Andrew Porter - huge when called upon during this campaign so far - dropping down to the bench, while the other areas of contention, in the back row and utility back positions, sees Schmidt prefer Jordi Murphy and Jordan Jordan to Jack Conan and Fergus McFadden.

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"Garry's been extraordinary when he has played for us, he's done a great job".

'It's a needs-must situation, but it's a situation where we've got a lot of trust and faith in Garry'. We're hoping he can get straight back into that form.

"I think the three of them have done very well for us in the championship so far and it was probably just a case of trying to keep a bit of continuity", Schmidt said, referring to competition between Henderson, Toner and 21-year-old James Ryan.

He takes his place on the bench whilst flanker Jordi Murphy gets his first call-up of the tournament in place of Jack Conan, and young tyro Jordan Larmour - who came on to make his Test debut against Italy - regains his place at the expense of his more experienced Leinster team-mate Fergus McFadden.