Scotland vs Ireland LIVE Rugby: Latest builds and updates from the Six Nations game today
Ireland are chasing the Grand Slam and taking on Scotland in the Six Nations today in Murrayfield.
Ireland top the table after picking up bonus points against Wales, France and Italy while taking on Scotland and England in a crucial double header to make it a clean win in the tournament. Johnny Sexton returns to the Ireland team after missing out on a bonus point win over Italy last time out, and the 37-year-old will be hoping to end his illustrious Six Nations career in style.
Scotland have never beaten the world-ranked side but a win over Ireland would put them in position to end their long title drought ahead of next weekend’s Super Saturday. Gregor Townsend’s side were beaten by France last time out but their comeback at the Stade de France showed they can trouble the world’s best.
Follow the score and latest updates from the Six Nations below.
100 for Stuart Hogg
Stuart Hogg is only the fourth Scot to win 100 caps this afternoon, the full-back is raising his century at just 30 – you’d think he has many more caps to go. Hogg might not have been at his best this campaign, but he’s knitted things together neatly when needed and he’ll really be looking for a standout today.
Hogg’s match jersey was presented to him this week by Scotland’s other three male Centurions – Ross Ford, Chris Paterson and Sean Lamont.
“It’s going to be a hell of a challenge for us, but we’re ready and we’re looking forward to it,” Hogg said ahead of the encounter. “We have prepared well for it.
“You want to play against the best players and the best team and to have Ireland here, number one in world rugby, is great for us.
“We’re really looking forward to it. Ireland are at the top for a reason – they are incredibly good individually and collectively as a rugby team and their record speaks volumes.
“Me and the rest of the guys respect them and admire them a lot, but we also know we can do a job with them and we’re really looking forward to that.”
“It’s incredibly special. As a kid I just wanted to play for Scotland. Sitting here before my 100th, I don’t know what to make of it.”
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:25 p.m
The return of Garry Ringrose is a huge boost for Ireland
Somehow it feels like Garry Ringrose, such a consistent and versatile player for club and country, has always stayed a little under the radar, but his defensive importance to this Irish side has never been clearer than at Rome. Italy have repeatedly exploited a lack of lateral mobility in the visiting midfield to break up Andy Farrell’s side and Ringrose will play a key role in healing any cracks against a dangerous Scottish midfield.
The 28-year-old wins his 50thth Kappe today, a fortnight later than planned after being forced to withdraw from the starting squad originally nominated for Italy. Ringrose is getting more praise for his work in attack and Farrell will be happy to have Ringrose and Johnny Sexton back on the pitch together after sitting side by side in the Stadio Olimpico stands. Your intuitive understanding is crucial to the way Ireland play.
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:22 p.m
Can the streamlined Scottish backline match Ireland?
It looks like an intriguing small change from Gregor Townsend at the base of the Scottish scrum, with the Scotland head coach urging his captain to a seven-shirt which he is more than comfortably filling to accommodate Jack Dempsey in the starting XI. Some coaches would have been tempted to pick a few catchers to try and slow down the Irish ball, but that’s a strategy that hasn’t particularly worked for Wales. Instead, Townsend has a trio of grafters with a nice mix of athleticism and size, with Hamish Watson more than handy to have in reserve for the final quarter.
Dempsey and Matt Fagerson work well in combination for Glasgow but this will be a big test for Scotland’s chosen three against an Irish back line that works so coherently and cleverly together, maximizing their different strengths.
“It’s more about what Jack has been doing off the bench and in training,” replied Townsend when asked this week if the selection was specific to Ireland. “He’s been really consistent in training and he’s brought that to the bench.
“We believe this is the right time to see this mix. They are all ball carriers, as is Hamish, and he will be a big factor in the last quarter of the game or possibly longer. We’re playing against the best in the world and the last 20 minutes will be very important.”
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:19 p.m
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton assesses the strength of Scotland’s challenge
Andy Farrell’s men travel to Edinburgh with Grand Slam aspirations still intact thanks to bonus-point victories over Wales, France and Italy.
The world’s top nation have dominated games against Scotland over the past decade, winning 11 of the last 12 meetings.
But Gregor Townsend’s side were far tougher at this year’s tournament – beating England and Wales before defeat in France – and are bidding for the first Triple Crown since the Five Nations in 1990 to remain in contention for the title.
Fly-Half Sexton, who sat out the third-round win in Rome due to a groin problem suffered against France, believes Ireland are “privileged” to fight for a clean win and is primed for the Championship’s biggest test yet.
“We don’t consider ourselves favourites, we don’t even talk about it,” he said. “We think it’s going to be an incredibly tough game.”
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:15 p.m
Team News – Ireland
Ireland are bolstered in their Grand Slam chase with the return of a handful of key faces. Tadhg Furlong is making his 2023 tournament bow at Tighthead, with the prop confident of starting straight away in that outstanding Leinster front row. Johnny Sexton is back to full health and taking over the captaincy again, along with Garry Ringrose, who will be missed so much by Ireland in Rome.
It’s a sign of Ireland’s strength that even with Stuart McCloskey absent with a minor problem, Andy Farrell can start a lion in Bundee Aki and bring another in Robbie Henshaw to his 23rd round.
Ireland XV: Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Iain Henderson, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris; Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton (Captain); James Lowe, Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, Mack Hansen; Hugo Keenan.
Substitutes: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Tom O’Toole, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan; Jamison Gibson Park, Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:10 p.m
Team News – Scotland
Gregor Townsend’s first-choice side are reasonably balanced, with the Scotland boss making just a few changes to his starting XI. They come in the pack: Grant Gilchrist’s red card against France requires a change in the back row, resulting in Jonny Gray being promoted to his brother, while there’s also a change in the back row as Jamie Ritchie moves to the open side , Matt, Fagerson switches to the blindside and Jack Dempsey from eighth place.
Three all-rounders provide plenty of versatility and balance in the trio, with Hamish Watson in reserve for when a specialist seven is needed. Scott Cummings is back on the bench alongside Watson and Chris Harris returns after missing the defeat to France due to the birth of his child to ensure a conventional 5-3 split.
Scotland XV: Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Jonny Gray; Matt Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie (Captain), Jack Dempsey; Ben White, Finn Russell; Duhan van der Merwe, Sione Tuipulotu, Huw Jones, Kyle Steyn; Stuart Hogg.
Substitutes: Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Scott Cummings, Hamish Watson; Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn, and Chris Harris.
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:09 p.m
Scotland vs Ireland
Rain is due later in Edinburgh but for the moment the weather is fine in the Scottish capital, with temperatures rising into double digits – comfortable enough for a much-anticipated encounter.
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:07 p.m
Scotland vs Ireland: why six nations meet is one thing to enjoy
It’s the final Sunday of the 2023 men’s Six Nations and only next Saturday’s full three-game schedule follows today’s action from Murrayfield.
Ireland continue their Grand Slam hunt in Edinburgh while Scotland hope to keep their own championship hopes alive and secure a triple crown.
It’s the best Scottish side in a generation against perhaps the best Irish side of all time – it’s a Celtic clash to enjoy:
Harry Latham-CoyleMarch 12, 2023 2:04 p.m
Scotland vs Ireland
Follow the score and the latest updates from the Six Nations.
Lawrence OstlereMarch 12, 2023 2:00 p.m
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/scotland-ireland-live-stream-score-result-b2299110.html Scotland vs Ireland LIVE Rugby: Latest builds and updates from the Six Nations game today