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Ireland make three changes for Scotland but keep Conor Murray in reserve

By Liam Heagney

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Ireland have made three changes to their starting team to play Scotland on Sunday at Murrayfield in round four of the Guinness Six Nations following their February 27 48-10 away win over Italy. Coach Andy Farrell has opted to bring back Keith Earls, Cian Healy and Rob Herring, who were all on the bench in Rome.

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The trio had started in the February 14 loss to France in Dublin and gave way for the Italian job to Jordan Larmour, Dave Kilcoyne and Ronan Kelleher who now all revert to the bench for the assignment in Edinburgh.

The remainder of the Ireland Six Nations selection remains untouched as Farrell has resisted the temptation to restore the fit-again Conor Murray to the starting line-up. Instead, the much-experienced scrum-half will take up a bench role, taking over the No21 jersey from Craig Casey who made his debut when replacing the starting Jamison Gibson-Park in Italy.

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Ryan Baird, another player to make his Test debut at the Stadio Olimpico, is retained on the bench, as are Andrew Porter, Jack Conan and Billy Burns for a match that will see starting No8 CJ Stander win his 50th Ireland cap.

The Irish are currently third on the Six Nations table with seven points, seven points behind the leaders Wales and two behind second-place France who have a game in hand as do the fifth place Scots whose February 28 match with the French was postponed. 

IRELAND (vs Scotland, Sunday)
15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster) 9
14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 91
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 33
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 50
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 5
10. Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (capt) 97
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) 8
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 107
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 19
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 47
4. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 61
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 34
6. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 20
7. Will Connors (UCD/Leinster) 8
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 49

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Replacements:
16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 9
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 41
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 35
19. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster) 1
20. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 18
21. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 88
22. Billy Burns (Ulster) 6
23. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 27

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Ireland make three changes for Scotland but keep Conor Murray in reserve

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