Paddy Jackson, who captained the Ireland Under-20s in last season’s Championship, and Luke Marshall, who starred in November’s non-cap international against Fiji, will make their full international debuts at out-half and centre respectively.The Ireland team contains a strong mix of youth and experience and shows several changes to the side which started the recent 12-6 defeat to England.
Keith Earls will take over on the left wing from the injured Simon Zebo, joining full-back Rob Kearney and Craig Gilroy in an exciting back-three.
With Jonathan Sexton and Gordon D’Arcy also ruled out through injury, Ulster youngsters Jackson and Marshall (both 21) will make the step up at half-back and in midfield.
In the pack, Tom Court returns to the front row alongside Rory Best, who wins his 65th cap at hooker, and Mike Ross.
Donncha O’Callaghan will line out for his 93rd cap alongside Donnacha Ryan in the second row. O’Callaghan will be taking over from Malcolm O’Kelly (92 caps) as Ireland’s most-capped lock.
Among the replacements Luke Fitzgerald makes a return to the international squad, while Iain Henderson and Devin Toner have also been included on the bench.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Scotland, 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Murrayfield, Sunday, February 24, kick-off 2pm):
Club/Province/International Caps –
15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster/43)
14 – Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster/3)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster/122)
12 – Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster) *
11 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster/36)
10 – Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) *
9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster/16)
1 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster/29)
2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster/64)
3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster/26)
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster/92)
5 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster/25)
6 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster/11)
7 – Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster/24)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster/54) (capt)
16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster/24)
17 – David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster/4)
18 – Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster/4)
19 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster/3)
20 – Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster/2)
21 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster/48)
22 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster/127)
23 – Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster/23)
* Denotes uncapped player