Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has revealed that Luke Fitzgerald's left foot is a key component of his selection on the left wing in the XV to face Scotland on Saturday.

Fitzgerald replaces Simon Zebo at No 11 and Schmidt was full of praise for the Leinster winger's ability to force his way back into the Ireland team.

"It's [his left foot] just keeping that balance," said Schmidt. "He's a natural left footer so coming in on the left wing it maintains that left-footed kicking option that we have and the ability to play down that left-hand touch a little bit.

"It's been a long road back for Luke after a number of injuries, but he has a positivity that makes it difficult to keep Luke down for long periods.

"He's played a lot of rugby on the wing and in my experience of working with Luke he's played almost entirely on the wing. Except last season when he did have half a dozen starts or more in the midfield."

The Ireland boss also revealed that Zebo, while disappointed at missing out on selection, has bounced back well.

He said: "There's a bit of disappointment, but there is a sense of a relief as well. Simon has rebounded really well and trained really well today and will certainly be coming with us [to Edinburgh]."

The other change in the Ireland side sees Cian Healy in for Jack McGrath and Schmidt has noted that McGrath did not hide his disappointment at dropping to the replacements' bench.

"Jack was really disappointed. He feels he has played really well and I think he has contributed really well," said Schmidt. 

"It's a role reversal, but we thought we'd rotate it around. We are lucky to have two really good loosehead options. They both scrum really strongly and they are both really consistent with their set-piece. As far as line-outs are concerned they are both consistent and also offer really value around the pitch."

In terms of the threat Scotland pose to Ireland, while not giving too much away about where Schmidt sees the Scottish threat, he praised their defence and highlighted that putting up a large winning margin will be extremely difficult given the quality of their defence, saying: "Scotland are really hard to score against because even off line breaks they tend to scramble really well in defence."

Ireland's round five clash with Scotland is live across RTÉ TV, Radio and Online this Saturday. Kick-off at Murrayfield is 14:30.