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Ireland v Scotland: Build-up ahead of Six Nations showdown

The Scots will look to end Ireland's grand slam hopes as they chase Six Nations title

Greig Laidlaw kicked two late penalties to ensure Scotland beat Ireland last year.
Greig Laidlaw kicked two late penalties to ensure Scotland beat Ireland last year. SNS

Full live coverage of the match is on STV from 1.25pm

Scotland travel to Dublin for a crucial Six Nations showdown on Saturday with both sides still in contention to win the championship.

Ireland remain undefeated as they chase a grand slam while Gregor Townsend's men will be buoyed by their Calcutta Cup victory against England last time out at Murrayfield.

The Irish can secure their third Six Nations title in five years on Saturday provided they beat the Scots with a bonus point and England fail to achieve the same outcome in Paris.

Scotland still have an outside chance of lifting the trophy but will have to improve their away form having only ever won two Six Nations away games outside Rome, once in Cardiff in 2002 and more recently in Dublin eight years ago.

Can Townsend's men halt Ireland and keep their own title hopes alive?

Scotland

Blair Kinghorn will make his first start in a Scotland jersey against Ireland.
Blair Kinghorn will make his first start in a Scotland jersey against Ireland. SNS

Gregor Townsend is sticking with a winning team after back-to back home victories over France and England as he only makes one change to his starting XV.

Edinburgh back Blair Kinghorn steps in for the injured Tommy Seymour to take his place on the wing as Warriors winger Seymour still recovers from a back injury.

The 21-year-old made his debut as a replacement in the win over England and this will be his first start in a Scotland jersey.

On the replacements bench, Glasgow Warriors winger Lee Jones fills in for Kinghorn, with the only other change to the bench coming with hooker Fraser Brown replacing the injured Scott Lawson.

The Scots must win to keep their title hopes alive and set-up a thrilling final day finish in Rome.

Starting XV: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Huw Jones Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russsell (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Gordon Reid (London Irish), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay (Scarlets, captain), Hamish Watson Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), David Denton (Worcester Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors).

Ireland

Conor Murray suffered a late defeat to Scotland last year at Murrayfield.
Conor Murray suffered a late defeat to Scotland last year at Murrayfield. SNS

Joe Schmidt has drafted Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose into his grand-slam chasing side to face Scotland.

Furlong will replace Andrew Porter at prop after returning from injury with Ringrose coming in for the injured Chris Farrell.

Ringrose will partner Bundee Aki in the centre while Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton remain as the halfbacks.

Ulster lock Iain Henderson returns as a replacement as James Ryan and Devin Toner remain in the starting line-up.

Ireland are the only team with Grand Slam ambitions after Scotland's win over England at Murrayfield ended Eddie Jone's sides hopes.

Starting XV: Rob Kearney (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Bundee Aki (Connacht), Jacob Stockdale (Ulster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster, captain), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), 21 caps (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Dan Leavy (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster).

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster) Andrew Porter (Leinster) Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster).

Previous Six Nations meetings:

2017: Scotland 27-22 Ireland

2016: Ireland 35-25 Scotland

2015: Scotland 10-40 Ireland

2014: Ireland 28-6 Scotland

2013: Scotland 12-8 Ireland

2012: Ireland 32-14 Scotland

2011: Scotland 18-21 Ireland

2010: Ireland 20-23 Scotland

2009: Scotland 15-22 Ireland

2008: Ireland 34-13 Scotland

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