Two Set To Debut For Ireland In Six Nations Opener VS Scotland

Andy Farrell has named his side for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Scotland in the new boss' first game since taking the helm. 

Ireland, ranked 5th in the world, is looking to bounce back from its crushing defeat in the World Cup quarterfinals last October to New Zealand. 

Farrell, on the difficulty of selections, "Well, difficult, exactly as it should be. We've got a very competitive squad; a lot of the lads have been in great form, so it's always going to be difficult."

Two uncapped players make the 23, with 21 year old Leinster flanker Caelan Doris getting the start and his 21 year old Leinster teammate Ronan Kelleher coming off the bench as a replacement hooker. 

"We've been pretty open with a clean slate as far as selections are concerned," said Farrell. 

"We wanted to see how people came into camp, and obviously we've been watching from afar as far as form is concerned. 

"You see all different permutations of how people fit into the camp, and they've been great. The young kids are ready to go."

Incumbent half back and British & Irish Lion Conor Murray retains the starting position, despite the form of red hot Ulster scrum half John Cooney. 

On his thought process behind the decision, "Well, it's unbelievably tough because Luke McGrath misses out and he's been playing really really well. We've had three really tough training sessions here and Luke's been right up there, but somebody's gotta miss out. 

"Conor's been great on the other end of the group; his training, his calmness under pressure. We've put them under pressure this week in training over here in Portugal, and his calmness has been great for the group. He's in great form as well, you know."

Cooney, who's been nothing short of brilliant for Ulster this year in both the Pro14 and the Champions Cup, was tipped by many to in fact get the start this weekend. 

"John, everyone knows what type of form he's in. He's had a few protocols this week, as far as his H.I.A is concerned. But he's had a couple of sessions under his belt, and he's ready to go as well."

Ireland Team 

1. Cian Healy | Leinster
2. Rob Herring | Ulster
3. Tadhg Furlong | Leinster
4. Iain Henderson | Ulster
5. James Ryan | Leinster
6. CJ Stander | Munster
7. Josh Van der Flier | Leinster
8. Caelan Doris | Leinster
9. Conor Murray | Munster
10. Jonathan Sexton | Leinster
11. Jacob Stockdale | Ulster
12. Bundee Aki | Connacht
13. Garry Ringrose | Leinster
14. Andrew Conway | Munster
15. Jordan Larmour | Leinster
16. Ronan Kelleher | Leinster
17. David Kilcoyne | Munster
18. Andrew Porter | Leinster
19. Devin Toner | Leinster
20. Peter O'Mahony | Munster
21. John Cooney | Ulster
22. Ross Byrne | Leinster
23. Robbie Henshaw | Leinster

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