Scotland name team to play Ireland in Six Nations opener

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has named his team to play Ireland. Picture: SNS
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has named his team to play Ireland. Picture: SNS
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Scotland have sprung a surprise by picking Fraser Brown at hooker for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Ireland at BT Murrayfield.

Brown is preferred to cap centurion Ross Ford and he will be joined in the front row by props Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson.

The Gray brothers, Richie and Jonny, are picked in the second row, while Ryan Wilson is moved to No 6, with the rest of the back row comprising Josh Strauss at No 8 and Hamish Watson at openside.

John Barclay has to be content with a place on the bench.

The backs are along usual lines with captain Greig Laidlaw linking up with Finn Russell at half-back. The centres are Alex Dunbar and Huw Jones, with Mark Bennett providing cover on the bench.

Stuart Hogg is at full-back, with Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour picked on the wings.

The uncapped Edinburgh prop Simon Berghan is named among the substitutes.

This will be Scotland coach Vern Cotter’s final Six Nations before he steps down to be replaced by Gregor Townsend.

Scotland team to play Ireland on Saturday (BT Murrayfield, 2.25pm)

15. Stuart Hogg

14. Sean Maitland

13. Huw Jones

12. Alex Dunbar

11. Tommy Seymour

10. Finn Russell

9. Greig Laidlaw (captain)

1. Allan Dell

2. Fraser Brown

3. Zander Fagerson

4. Richie Gray

5. Jonny Gray

6. Ryan Wilson

7. Hamish Watson

8. Josh Strauss

Substitutes:

Ross Ford

Gordon Reid

Simon Berghan

Tim Swinson

John Barclay

Ali Price

Duncan Weir

Mark Bennett