Six Nations 2015: Scotland make two changes for Ireland

Glasgow Warriors duo Ryan Grant and Adam Ashe return to the starting XV as Dark Blues aim to avoid whitewash

Vern Cotter has made two changes to the Scotland starting XV for their RBS 6 Nations match against Ireland on Saturday.

The Scotland head coach makes two changes to the pack with Glasgow Warriors loosehead prop Ryan Grant (pictured above) replacing Alasdair Dickinson, with his club team-mate Adam Ashe coming in at blindside for Rob Harley.

Make no mistake, they are coming to Edinburgh believing they can win the title, while 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.

Vern Cotter on Scotland’s clash with Ireland

Grant has not started for Scotland since their 51-3 defeat to Wales in Cardiff 12 months ago, but has made two appearances in this year’s championship as back up to Edinburgh’s Dickinson.

Ashe, who missed the start of the championship with a neck problem, is also promoted from the bench following the defeat to England at Twickenham last week.

Edinburgh winger Tim Visser replaces back-row forward Johnnie Beattie on the bench as Cotter reverts to a traditional 5:3 split among the replacements.

“There is a strong culture in this group. Players want to do well and set the standards high,” Cotter said.

“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, while 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.”

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); Dougie Fife (Edinburgh), Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors); Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester, captain); Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Ashe (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan (London Irish), David Denton (Edinburgh).

Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Geoff Cross (London Irish), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh), Tim Visser (Edinburgh).

Ireland: Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster); Johnny Sexton (Racing Metro), Conor Murray (Munster); Cian Healy (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster, captain), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster); Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Felix Jones (Munster).

Referee: Jerôme Garces (FFR)

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