Joe Schmidt is reluctant to replace Ireland half backs

Lynette Rowe
February 9, 2019

Andy Dunne joined OTB's Thursday Night Rugby to preview Ireland's Six Nations clash against Scotland in Murrayfield this Saturday.

The Ulster scrum half was given just three minutes to make an impression against England last weekend and did his best to make his mark by touching down a consolation try.

The biggest sees Robbie Henshaw pulled with Chris Farrell named at outside centre and Rob Kearney reclaiming the number 15 jersey.

Ahead of tomorrow's 2.15pm kick-off in BT Murrayfield, we are asking you to select the best combined XV from the two starting line-ups in the poll below.

The Belvedere man says he understands global rugby is very different from the club game but thinks Schmidt's Ireland side need more variations in the opposing 22'.

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Munster Rugby centre Chris Farrell is also brought back instead of Leinster's Garry Ringrose, who picked up an injury against England.

"It's just a bit of aggravation after having a knock", Schmidt said of Henshaw.

Toner is the third Ireland lock lost to injury after Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne.

This is Schmidt's last Six Nations in charge of Ireland before he stands down after this year's World Cup in Japan. It's a knock on top of a knock. "But if you get another bump on it, it debilitates you quickly, and then you have to make another change".

When asked if Kearney would have returned at full-back even had Henshaw been fit, Schmidt added: 'Probably once Garry Ringrose was ruled out it was going to be trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time'. Joe Schmidt said. "It's a pretty exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell the chance to play against Scotland". He's coming back to form after a long lay-off'.

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