2020 Six Nations Championship – Ireland vs Scotland Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Ireland vs Scotland taking place? Saturday 1st February, 16:45

Where is Ireland vs Scotland taking place? Aviva Stadium

What is the expected weather for Ireland vs Scotland? 7c in mostly sunny skies

What channel is Ireland vs Scotland on? ITV 1

Where can I stream Ireland vs Scotland? Ireland vs Scotland can be streamed via ITV Player

Where can I get tickets for Ireland vs Scotland? Fans seeking tickets should visit the ticket section of the official rugby union website for each nation

What was the outcome in the last meeting? Ireland 27-3 Scotland

THE TEAM NEWS

IRELAND

  • Ireland were hammered by New Zealand in their last game at the Rugby World Cup and will begin a new era on the back of that with former defence coach Andy Farrell set to take charge of his first game.
  • Farrell has taken over from Joe Schmidt as planned and he has named Johnny Sexton as his new captain and he has managed to overcome a knock to lead his side in their opening clash of the tournament.
  • With several players in key positions playing well at club level, Farrell had plenty of decisions to make regarding the make-up of his first side with scrum-half one of those positions but he has opted to name Conor Murray ahead of the in-form John Cooney whilst Caelan Doris will debut at number eight with CJ Stander reverting to flanker.

SCOTLAND

  • Scotland endured a poor Rugby World Cup as they failed to make it out of the pool stage and face an uphill task in this Six Nations with the Scots already suffering from some controversy in the build-up to this opening game.
  • Fly-half Finn Russell has been in sparkling form for Racing 92 but he breached team protocol during a team bonding session and head coach Gregor Townsend made him unavailable for selection for this opening game with his longer-term future also in doubt with his absence opening the door for Adam Hastings to start.
  • Townsend has made 10 changes to the XV that featured in Scotland's final game at the RWC with number eight Nick Haining handed a debut in the pack and the Scots will be led by new captain Stuart Hogg who takes over from Stuart McInally.

THE PREDICTION

Ireland will begin life under Andy Farrell with a home match against Scotland. The former defence coach will take on his first head coaching role against a Scotland side that endured a poor RWC campaign. They have plenty to prove in this campaign but must overcome the loss of fly-half Finn Russell who has been made unavailable for this opening contest for disciplinary reasons. Ireland look to possess the stronger side and they should hand Farrell a perfect start to his reign.

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