/ Six Nations 2014

Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall and Chris Henry earn Ireland starts against Scotland

Updated: Saturday, 01 Feb 2014 09:42 | Comments

Andrew Trimble and Chris Henry will start against Scotland Ireland play Scotland in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday at 3pm
Andrew Trimble and Chris Henry will start against Scotland Ireland play Scotland in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday at 3pm

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By Brendan Cole

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named Ulster trio Andrew Trimble, Chris Henry and Luke Marshall in his starting team to face Scotland on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Trimble replaces the injured Tommy Bowe in the starting line-up, with Dave Kearney retaining his place on the other wing after starting Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat to New Zealand.

Rob Kearney is named at full-back and will earn his 50th cap.

Replacing D’Arcy with Marshall is perhaps the biggest surprise.

The Leinster man was a standout performer against the All Blacks, while Marshall lost his place in the team after a high-profile defensive error against Australia.

Henry replaces the injured Sean O’Brien in the starting team.

The team is as expected elsewhere.

Cian Healy is named at loosehead after proving his fitness with some eye-catching displays for Leinster in recent weeks.

Rory Best, also having shown his form after a recent return from injury, and Mike Ross complete the front-row.

Devin Toner retains his place alongside captain Paul O’Connell in the second row with Henry, Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip named at openside, blindside and number eight respectively.

Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton are paired at half-back while Brian O’Driscoll, who will become Ireland's most capped player with 129 caps, will play alongside Marshall in the centre.

On the bench, Leinster trio Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Martin Moore will supply front-row cover.

Dan Tuohy, perhaps with half an eye on testing trips to take on heavyweight packs in London and Paris, is the second row sub, while the versatile Tommy O’Donnell will cover the back row positions.

Donnacha Ryan could also come into contention for a place in the second row later in the tournament.

Isaac Boss, man of the match against England Saxons last week, is the scrum-half substitute with Eoin Reddan ruled out due to injury while Paddy Jackson is Sexton’s back-up at out-half. Fergus McFadden covers the rest of the backline.

Luke Fitzgerald was not considered due to injury.

The starting selection contains seven Leinster, four Ulster and three Munster players with Jonny Sexton of Racing Metro the only non-Ireland-based selection.

Leinster dominate the bench selection with five representatives, with Ulster having two and Munster one.

"Luke made a couple of really good telling breaks against the Australians in the autumn"

"It was a very, very close call," said Schmidt, regarding the selection of Marshall over D'Arcy.

"I think part of it was that Gordon had a little bit of a stomach bug at the start of the week.

"Because it was a tight call, Luke got a little bit more of the training time and would feel a little bit more comfortable.

"Luke made a couple of really good telling breaks against the Australians in the autumn, then Gordon D'Arcy played as well as I've seen him against the All Blacks."

Schmidt added that he was unsure how long Eoin Reddan will be out with his calf problem, and Luke Fitzgerald with a hip complaint.

"They are both in the same basket," said Schmidt.

"I guess we won't know until next week whether either will be right for the second round, against Wales.

"The one thing we felt with Luke was that if we tried to push too hard this week we might lose him for more than next week anyway."

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Marshall, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell (c), Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Dan Tuohy, Tommy O’Donnell, Isaac Boss, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden.

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