| 14.8°C Dublin

Caelan Doris set to make Irish debut in Six Nations opener against Scotland as Murray to get nod over Cooney


Caelan Doris is set for his Ireland debut against Scotland. Photo: Sportsfile

Caelan Doris is set for his Ireland debut against Scotland. Photo: Sportsfile

Caelan Doris is set for his Ireland debut against Scotland. Photo: Sportsfile

Caelan Doris is set to make his Ireland debut in Saturday's Six Nations opener against Scotland.

The No 8 has enjoyed a stunning season with Leinster and is in line to be rewarded for his excellent form when Andy Farrell names his first Ireland team tomorrow.

Doris, a former Ireland U-20s captain, has long been tipped for the top and his rapid rise will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his progress thus far.

The 21-year old faced tough competition from fellow uncapped Leinster team-mate Max Deegan, but Doris is in line to start at the Aviva Stadium this weekend as Deegan pushes for inclusion on the bench.

That would mean CJ Stander switches to the blindside, where he won his first 14 caps before moving to No 8 when Jamie Heaslip retired.

Josh van der Flier will make up the back-row along with Stander and Doris.

Conor Murray is expected to earn a big show of faith from Farrell and get the nod ahead of the in-form John Cooney.

There have been plenty of calls for Cooney to leapfrog Murray, but the new Ireland head coach is set to hand the number nine jersey to the Munster man.

Murray has come under pressure for his starting spot, but has shown signs of a return to form in recent weeks.

Farrell may resist the temptation to also hand a debut to hooker Ronan Kelleher from the start. The 22-year old hasn't played since December 7 when he fractured his hand.

Rugby Newsletter

Subscribe to 'The Collision' for a weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team Issued every Friday morning

This field is required

Read more here

Instead, it looks like Rob Herring will get the nod in an otherwise familiar looking front-row along with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong, with Kelleher on the bench.

James Ryan and Iain Henderson are set to continue their second-row partnership despite a return to form of Devin Toner.

Jordan Larmour remains a doubt due to the foot injury he picked up playing for Leinster two weeks ago, so Will Addison is in line to start at full-back, if Larmour does not recover in time.

Farrell faces a couple of tough calls in the back-line with Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw battling it out for the 12 jersey, while Andrew Conway, Keith Earls and Larmour (if fit) are vying for the right wing spot as Jacob Stockdale is expected to start on the left flank.

Farrell may favour going with the Leinster 10-12-13 axis, which would see Henshaw paired with Garry Ringrose in midfield, outside Johnny Sexton, who will captain the team following a two-moth lay-off with a knee issue.

Ireland will officially name their team at 1pm in Portugal tomorrow.

Possible Ireland team to play Scotland on Saturday – W Addison; A Conway/K Earls/J Larmour, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Herring, T Furlong; J Ryan, I Henderson; CJ Stander, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Please register or log in with Independent.ie for free access to this article

Already have an account?

Most Watched