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Scotland Call On Ashe And Grant

Scotland Call On Ashe And Grant

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made two changes to his team for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations final round match against Ireland at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.30pm).

Both players are promoted from the bench, with Adam Ashe starting at blindside flanker in place of Robert Harley, and Ryan Grant switching roles with Alasdair Dickinson, who drops to the bench, for his first start of the Championship.

The unchanged back-line sees captain Greig Laidlaw partnering out-half Finn Russell in front of Glasgow Warriors trio Mark Bennett, Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour, and Edinburgh duo Matt Scott and Dougie Fife, the latter making his home debut.

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In the pack, tighthead Euan Murray makes history, alongside Ross Ford and Grant, overtaking Allan Jacobsen’s record as the most-capped Scotland prop with his 66th appearance.

Jonny Gray and Jim Hamilton will again start together in the second row, with David Denton and Blair Cowan returning to the back row, the latter one of six Scotland players to hold a starting spot in every match of this year’s tournament, as well as Bennett, Ford, Gray, Hogg and Laidlaw.

The only other squad change is among the replacements where Tim Visser replaces Johnnie Beattie, reverting the selection to a five-three split among the reserve forwards and backs.

Speaking ahead of the game, Vern Cotter said: “There is a strong culture in this group. Players want to do well and set the standards high. We’ve played with a huge amount of spirit and courage, are putting teams under pressure and are scoring tries, which is encouraging, but we want to go one better this Saturday against Ireland, last year’s champions.

“Both ourselves and Ireland are hugely motivated for this game. Make no mistake, they are coming to Edinburgh believing they can win the title.

“We will be going out there desperate to throw everything at our last Championship match to win the game and repay the support of our fans. It’s time to put our bodies on the line and once again give everything, in this one, last, 80-minute push.”

SCOTLAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Saturday, March 21, kick-off 2.30pm):

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14. Dougie Fife (Edinburgh)
13. Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Matt Scott (Edinburgh)
11. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester) (capt)
1. Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors)
2. Ross Ford (Edinburgh)
3. Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors)
4. Jim Hamilton (Saracens)
5. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
6. Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors)
7. Blair Cowan (London Irish)
8. David Denton (Edinburgh)


16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh)
18. Geoff Cross (London Irish)
19. Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors)
20. Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors)
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh)
22. Greig Tonks (Edinburgh)
23. Tim Visser (Edinburgh)