Keith Earls handed wing berth in Ireland XV for Scotland match
Last Updated: 02/02/17 5:15pm
Andrew Trimble has failed to beat his groin problem so Keith Earls will start on the wing in Ireland's Six Nations match in Scotland.
Munster hooker Niall Scannell could make his Test debut after winning the fight with Leinster's James Tracy to understudy captain Rory Best at Murrayfield.
Scannell's Munster team-mate John Ryan also takes a seat on the bench, having been preferred to Connacht's Finlay Bealham as the replacement tighthead prop.
Ryan has just one cap to his name but has impressed consistently this term amid Munster's resurgence.
Paddy Jackson replaces calf injury victim Johnny Sexton at fly-half as expected, with Iain Henderson partnering Devin Toner in the second row.
Sean O'Brien has shaken off his own calf issue to start at openside flanker, with Josh Van Der Flier taking a seat on the bench.
Head coach Joe Schmidt has also drafted Tommy Bowe back onto the bench, with the Ulster wing poised for his first Test appearance since Ireland's 40-23 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina in October 2015.
Ian Keatley will cover fly-half from the bench despite not featuring for Ireland since the Six Nations win over Italy in Rome on 7 February, 2015.
Highly-rated Leinster centre Garry Ringrose will make his first Six Nations start, while captain Best will make his 51st consecutive appearance in the competition.
Schmidt revealed Munster lock Donnacha Ryan was not quite fully fit to contest selection after suffering a minor knee injury.
"Donnacha had a niggly medial ligament so he didn't train last week," said Schmidt.
"Tuesday was the first time he trained. He's been super for us in recent times but it's a really tough turnaround.
"We just had uncertainty around him. He trained really well today but we wanted a bit more certainty than that.
"At the same time Iain Henderson has done well for us and Devin Toner obviously too."
Schmidt also admitted linchpin fly-half Johnny Sexton remains a long shot to be fit to face Italy in Rome on Saturday week.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Jack McGrath, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 Devin Toner, 6 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Tommy Bowe.