Luke Fitzgerald and Cian Healy come in for Zebo and McGrath

Cian Healy
Cian Healy

Luke Fitzgerald and Cian Healy have been named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team to face Scotland in their final Six Nations game at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Fitzgerald comes into the side at the expense of Simon Zebo on the left wing. The Munster man is also not on the bench.

Leinster man Fitzgerald’s inclusion is his first for Ireland since the clash with New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in 2013.

Fitzgerald has performed well for Leinster this season and it is hoped that he will add a creativity and unpredictability to the Ireland back line. He’ll win his 28th cap on Saturday.

Healy replaces Jack McGrath at loose-head prop for his first start of the championship, with McGrath taking Healy’s place on the bench as loose-head replacement. McGrath held the position for the first four rounds of the tournament, with Healy coming off the bench in Ireland’s clashes with France, England and Wales.

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Other than those two changes, Joe Schmidt’s team is as it was against Wales. Rob Kearney is named at full-back, with Bowe filling the right wing slot.

Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne continue their midfield partnership, which has been consistent throughout the championship.

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray continue in their half-back pairing. In the back row, Jamie Heaslip starts at No 8, with Peter O’Mahony at blind-side and Sean O’Brien at open-side.

Captain Paul O’Connell maintains his second row partnership with Devin Toner. Alongside Healy in the front row, Rory Best is named at hooker and Mike Ross at tight-head.

On the bench Sean Cronin covers hooker and Marty Moore is replacement tight-head. Iain Henderson is again the second row cover, and also provides back row cover, should it be needed. Jordi Murphy is named as the out-and-out back row replacment.

Eoin Reddan keeps his spot as scrum-half replacement. Ian Madigan is back-up out-half and Felix Jones completes the squad as back three cover.

Ireland XV to face Scotland: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Luke Fitzgerald, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell (captain), Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Felix Jones.

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