Andy Farrell says Scotland's opinion that they know exactly what Ireland can bring is "irrelevant".

The Irish side have won nine of the last ten encounters - with the average winning margin being 14 points - but few are predicting a comfortable ride for Farrell’s side in Murrayfield on Sunday.

Talking up their visitors, Scotland lock Scott Cummings said: "[Ireland] are always a great team, and they probably haven’t changed that much. 

"They have a lot of the same sort of players they have played with for the past five or six years at least, so we know what they’ll bring." 

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Farrell, who recalled Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Keith Earls ahead of Dave Kilcoyne, Ronán Kelleher and Jordan Larmour for the clash, brushed aside any suggestion that his team will be predictable.

"They can say whatever they want, it’s irrelevant for us," he told RTÉ Sport.

Lenihan tips Ireland to revert to type against Scotland

"What I know is that we’re right up for this game, we know how difficult it is going to be going up to Murrayfield but we’re really brimming for a top performance come Sunday afternoon. 

"I think they are a great pack. They've got a good set-piece. Their rucking is pretty good, their ball-carrying is pretty good, their two-man tackles are pretty good as well.

"They will be happy with how their forward pack is going at this moment in time. It is something our lads are looking forward to, getting stuck into." 

Farrell has twice beaten the Scots, both at home, since taking over from Joe Schmidt at the end of 2019. 

The former Saracens and England centre says Gregor Townsend's side have improved massively since crumbling 27-3 to Ireland in a Rugby World Cup pool game 17 months ago.

"I think their strength is their belief," said Farrell of Sunday’s opponents, who remain in the hunt following a win over England and a defeat to Wales.

"They 100% believe they are on an upward curve and rightly so because we have seen some really good performances from them.

"We always find it difficult against Scotland and we are always quite proud of any victory against the Scots.

"Gregor is a great coach and they have some great players as well.

"What was it, 19-12 the last time we played against them, it always tends to be close. We were pretty pleased with that victory.

Johnny Sexton scored a try in last season's 19-12 win in Dublin

"Was it a surprise to us that they went to Twickenham and came away with that victory? Within that game they grew their belief, didn't they? 100%.

"They have some key players back as well. They have always been a tough old side to beat and it will be no different for us on Sunday." 

Ireland are out of the Six Nations running after opening up with losses to Wales and France and Farrell says that success from here on in is two wins, meaning that they must back up victory against the Scots with another win over England in Dublin six days later.

"Two wins and two good performances – that is what we are after," the 45-year-old said emphatically.

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