Scotland will give a debut to Nick Haining in Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland as Gregor Townsend makes 10 changes to the side that flopped out of the Rugby World Cup.
Australia-born Haining is the only Test newcomer, but Townsend will present a revamped Scotland compared to the team that failed to go beyond the group stage in Japan.
Defeat to the hosts ended Scotland’s campaign, after a thumping loss to Ireland earlier in the tournament.
Scotland will look to take revenge for Ireland’s 27-3 victory, which came in Yokohama, but history suggests Townsend’s men are up against it, having not won in Dublin since 2010.
Scotland team named to face Ireland in the opening round of the 2020 #GuinnessSixNations in Dublin.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 30, 2020
Haining is joined in the back row by Edinburgh club-mates Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie, while Glasgow Warriors lock Scott Cummings makes his first Six Nations appearance and prop Rory Sutherland earns a first cap in three and a half years.
New captain Stuart Hogg and centre Sam Johnson are the only survivors in the back division from the Japan game in October.
An overhaul was required following the retirement of former skipper Greig Laidlaw and Tommy Seymour, plus star fly-half Finn Russell’s embarrassing axing from Townsend’s plans after a breach of team protocol, with Adam Hastings taking his place.
Townsend said: “We must be a relentless collective on the pitch and a nightmare for the Irish to deal with.”
Scotland team to play Ireland:
Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Rory Sutherland, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Nick Haining.
Replacements: Stuart McInally, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Cornell du Preez, George Horne, Rory Hutchinson, Chris Harris.
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