Ireland came alive against Italy to record their first win of the 2016 Six Nations Getty

Ireland will be looking to end an underwhelming Six Nations campaign on an up note with a victory in Dublin over Scotland.

Where to watch

Ireland vs Scotland is available to watch live on ITV, with kick off scheduled for 5.00pm [GMT].


Ireland's hopes of securing a third consecutive Six Nations championship were ended by game week three after back-to-back defeats to England and France, with the absence of their now-retired captain Paul O'Connell leaving a sizeable hole. Only last week against Italy did they begin to look something like the former selves in a sparkling 58-15 win, but by then it was far too late.

With England chasing a Grand Slam against France and Wales expected to clap Italy, today's meeting at the Aviva could be a battle for third place. Scotland, prior to their own thumping victory over the Azzurri and last Sunday's excellent win over France, had been on a losing Six Nations run dating back to 2014, but Vern Cotter's side will now have a spring in their step after ending that hoodoo.

Stuart Hogg helped out France to the sword. Getty

The prospect of Ireland finishing fifth after being back-to-back champions is a real possibility. Amid a week where Joe Schmidt's long-term future has been questioned, ending on a high is a must. Helping them do that will be captain Rory Best, who has been passed fit despite missing training this week. Josh van der Flier is rested while Tommy O'Donnell returns.

For Scotland, Duncan Weir comes in at fly-half for Finn Russell while Ryan Wilson starts at no. 8 ahead of Josh Strauss.


Ireland: 15. Simon Zebo, 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Jared Payne, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Rory Best (c), 3. Mike Ross, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Devin Toner, 6. CJ Stander, 7. Tommy O'Donnell, 8. Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Nathan White, 19. Ultan Dillane, 20. Rhys Ruddock, 21. Eoin Reddan, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Fergus McFadden.

Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Tim Visser, 10. Duncan Weir, 9. Greig Laidlaw (c); 1. Alasdair Dickinson, 2. Ross Ford, 3. Willem Nel, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Tim Swinson, 6. John Barclay, 7. John Hardie, 8. Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Moray Low, 19. Rob Harley, 20. Josh Strauss, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Sean Lamont.

What the coaches say

Joe Schmidt: "We're going to go out on the weekend and play with about half as many caps as we had last time we played Scotland. Those things change but at the same time you can still get pretty excited about what the future might hold.

"You just want to get a good finish now and I know Vern (Cotter) will feel the same way; they control their own destiny with that third placing, they have a very good chance of finishing third and that would be a huge step forward."

Vern Cotter: "We want to put in a good performance this weekend and we're focusing on that. We're not thinking about the rankings either - just about the game. We haven't got much time to get ready and it will be what it will be after 80 minutes.

"We know it's not going to be easy but other people can talk about that at the minute. We're just concentrating on being good on the day, because being good on the day is what counts. It will be good fun to sit down afterwards and review everything."