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Two changes to the Scotland XV and bench altered to a 5-3 split

By Liam Heagney
Scotland players react at full-time to last week's loss in Italy (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend has made two changes to his Scotland team in the wake of their Guinness Six Nations round four ambush away to Italy. Having beaten England in round three, there was great optimism that a win in Rome would keep the Scots in the title hunt until the last day in Ireland.

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However, their 29-31 Stadio Olimpico setback quashed that ambition and rather than go to Dublin with a title shot still alive, they will contest the minor placings with an XV that has two backline alterations.

Stafford McDowell has been named to start at inside centre with Cameron Redpath dropping to the bench. He is joined there by George Horne, who has lost his starting spot at scrum-half to the promoted Ali Price.

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The starting pack from Italy is unchanged, but the make-up of the bench has been altered.

Scotland had a six/two forwards/backs split in Rome but they have chosen a five/three divide for Dublin, with back-rower Jamie Ritchie omitted to accommodate the inclusion of Redpath as the third back.

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The one other change to the replacements is the naming of Rory Sutherland as the sub loosehead instead of Alec Hepburn.

Ireland have named an unchanged starting XV despite their loss to England, but they have mirrored Scotland in switching to a five/three bench.

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Iain Henderson is the forward to make way for midfielder Garry Ringrose to come onto a bench that also includes Harry Byrne in place of Ciaran Frawley.

Scotland (vs Ireland, Saturday)
15. Blair Kinghorn – Toulouse (52)
14. Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors (18)
13. Huw Jones – Glasgow Warriors (47)
12. Stafford McDowall – Glasgow Warriors (1)
11. Duhan van der Merwe – Edinburgh Rugby (38)
10. Finn Russell – co-captain – Bath Rugby (79)
9. Ben White – Toulon (21)
1. Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby (30)
2. George Turner – Glasgow Warriors (44)
3. Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (66)
4. Grant Gilchrist – vice-captain – Edinburgh Rugby (71)
5. Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors (37)
6. Andy Christie – Saracens (7)
7. Rory Darge – co-captain – Glasgow Warriors (18)
8. Jack Dempsey – Glasgow Warriors (19)

Replacements:
16. Ewan Ashman – Edinburgh Rugby (16)
17. Rory Sutherland – Oyonnax (29)
18. Elliot Millar-Mills – Northampton Saints (3)
19. Sam Skinner – Edinburgh Rugby (34)
20. Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (43)
21. George Horne – Glasgow Warriors (29)
22. Cameron Redpath – Bath Rugby (13)
23. Kyle Rowe – Glasgow Warriors (3)

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