Ireland v Scotland at Murrayfield
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Ireland and Scotland meet in a 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up test at Murrayfield. It’s the start of a handful of tests both nations will play before they head off to New Zealand ready for the World Cup which begins in September.
Irish coach Declan Kidney has left out a number of top players but insists this is still a test match and it has to be won. This very much second-string side will need to play well if they are to be included in Ireland’s final 30 that fly into Auckland next month. Despite it being a second-string side it does include on new cap, flanker Mike McCarthy. Also returning after a while off with injury is fullback Rob Kearney. 37 year-old John Hayes also returns, but sits on the bench, after a period away from test rugby in which he probably thought his test days were over. It is also of interest that veteran Leo Cullen gets the captaincy nod for this match.
The Scottish side sees Graham Morrison returning from injury after missing all 6 Nations matches. Afew top-flight players look to be rested whilst two new caps grace the bench, 21-year-old Edinburgh back-row forward David Denton and 23-year-old Bath full-back Jack Cuthbert. As with the Irish side winning will be vital if certain players want to be considered for the final 30 Scottish players who will travel to New Zealand.
Last Five Encounters
27.02.2011 Ireland 21-18 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
20.03.2010 Scotland 23-20 in Dublin (6 Nations)
14.03.2009 Ireland 22-15 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
23.02.2008 Ireland 34-13 in Dublin (6 Nations)
11.08.2007 Scotland 31-21 at Murrayfield (World Cup Warm up)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Ireland 4th, Scotland 7th
Europe Table-Ireland 1st, Scotland 3rd
IRB Ranking Points
Ireland 82.51, Scotland 77.35
Prediction: A close game, Ireland by 5 points
15 Robert Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Patrick Wallace, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Michael McCarthy, 5 Leo Cullen (capt), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Anthony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Thomas Court.
16 Jeremy Flannery, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Michael O'Driscoll, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 20 Isaac Boss, 22 Felix Jones.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney
15 Christopher Paterson, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Joseph Ansbro, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Rory Lawson, Capt. 8 John Beattie, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Richard Gray, 4 James Hamilton, 3 Geoffrey Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
16 Douglas Hall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Alastair Kellock, 19 David Denton, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Nicholas De Luca, 22 Jack Cuthbert.
Head Coach: Andy Robinson