Scotland coach Ian McGechan has opted to go with Leeds Tykes number 10 Gordon Ross in his starting line-up in preference to Gregor Townsend who has been dropped to the bench
Scotland coach Ian McGechan has opted to go with Leeds Tykes number 10 Gordon Ross in his starting line-up in preference to Gregor Townsend who has been dropped to the bench. According to the official SRU website, McGeechan (pictured) acknowledged there had been a “full and frank discussion” before he finalised the selection of Ross at stand-off in the team to face Ireland.
He was keen to allow Ross to build on his impressive games in the autumn and reflected that his all-round control and quality of his kicking from hand had been influential factors in his nomination.
Brendan Laney,who has been playing so well at out-half for Edinburgh recently, was another consideration for the pivotal role but he is picked at inside centre while veteran Kenny Logan is named on the wing.
Andrew Mower takes over from Budge Pountney in the back row, his pace the deciding factor in his selection.
Scotland. Glenn Metcalfe (Glasgow Rugby); Kenny Logan (London Wasps), Andy Craig (Orrell), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby); Gordon Ross (Leeds Tykes), Bryan Redpath capt (Sale Sharks); Tom Smith (Northampton Saints), Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow Rugby), Bruce Douglas (The Borders); Scott Murray (Edinburgh Rugby),5 Stuart Grimes (Newcastle Falcons); Martin Leslie (Edinburgh Rugby), Andrew Mower (Newcastle Falcons), Simon Taylor (Edinburgh Rugby).
Substitutes: Steve Scott (The Borders), Gavin Kerr (Leeds Tykes), Nathan Hines (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Beattie (Bristol Shoguns), Mike Blair (Edinburgh Rugby), Gregor Townsend (The Borders), Kevin Utterson (The Borders)