Aki and Hansen named for starting Irish XV against Scotland

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Galway Daily sport 50th Test Cap for Bundee Aki this weekend against the Springboks

Bundee Aki and Mack Hansen will both be in the starting XV for Ireland this Sunday in the decisive Six Nations clash against Scotland.

Johnny Sexton is returning as captain this weekend, after missing out against Italy at Stadio Olympico last month due to an injury.

Sexton is currently seven points behind the all-time leading Six Nations points scorer, fellow Irishman Ronan O’Gara (557 Six Nations points).

Conor Murray is also restored to the starting line up having impressed off the bench against Italy. In the midfield, Bundee Aki shifts to inside centre with Garry Ringrose returning to the starting line-up.

The back three that has started every game of this Championship campaign lines out again with Hugo Keenan at full-back and Mack Hansen and James Lowe on the wings.

Up front, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong are introduced to the front row to join Andrew Porter.

James Ryan and Iain Henderson lock down at second row with Peter O’Mahony starting at blindside flanker, Caelan Doris shifting to number eight and Josh van der Flier lining out at openside.

Cian Healy, Jamison Gibson-Park and Robbie Henshaw are included amongst the replacements alongside Ronan Kelleher, Tom O’Toole, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan and Ross Byrne.

IRELAND team to play Scotland – Round 4, 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championships, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Sunday 12th March, 2023, KO 15:00 (IST):

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 28 caps
14. Mack Hansen (Connacht/Corinthians) 12 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 49 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 44 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 18 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 111 caps (c)
9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 103 caps

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 51 caps
2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 15 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 71 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 51 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 92 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps

Replacements:

16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 20 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 7 caps
19. Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 9 caps
20. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 36 caps
21. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 17 caps
23. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 61 caps

2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures & Results:

Wales 10 IRELAND 34
Principality Stadium, Saturday 4th February 2023

IRELAND 32 France 19
Aviva Stadium, Saturday 11th February 2023

Italy 20 IRELAND 34
Stadio Olimpico, Saturday 25th February 2023

Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio