Tuesday 24 October 2017

O'Gara named in Ireland team to face Scotland

Ireland have recalled Ronan O'Gara for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.

O'Gara will win his 106th cap after being selected ahead of Jonathan Sexton, who drops to the bench, for his first start since facing Samoa in November.

The 33-year-old Munster fly-half has made an impact from the bench against Italy, against whom he landed the match-winning drop-goal, and France already this month.

While Sexton has done little wrong, Ireland will be hoping O'Gara's return inspires confidence in a side that has been error-prone so far during the Six Nations.

A new half-back combination is completed by the return of Eoin Reddan, who starts after Tomas O'Leary was ruled out with a back injury. Peter Stringer is included on the bench.

In total there are three changes to the side edged 25-22 by France at Aviva Stadium last time out with Tommy Bowe the last of the new arrivals.

Bowe is restored to the right wing after recovering from the knee injury that forced him to miss the first two matches of the championship.

The 27-year-old Ospreys winger played a full 80 minutes against Treviso last weekend and has been passed fit to face the Scots.

Fergus McFadden, a try-scorer against France, drops out of the squad altogether with Paddy Wallace preferred on the bench.

"Tommy came through well for the Ospreys and there have been no restrictions on him in training," said head coach Declan Kidney.

Ireland's title hopes look over following their defeat by Les Bleus, but they could yet have a major say in the identity of the Six Nations winners.

England, who host France at Twickenham on Saturday, must visit the Aviva Stadium on the final day of the championship on March 19.

A more pressing objective, however, is an immediate return to winning ways against Scotland amid admissions the team's confidence is suffering.

Ireland Team & Replacements

Ireland v Scotland, 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Murrayfield, Sunday, February 27, kick-off 3.00pm):

15 - Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)

14 - Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)

13 - Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)

12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

11 - Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)

10 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)

9 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)

3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)

4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)

5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)

6 - Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)

7 - David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)

8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)

Replacements:

16 - Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)

17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)

18 - Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)

19 - Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)

20 - Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)

21 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

22 - Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

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