Schmidt to unleash 'massively motivated' Farrell against Scotland

Rex Christensen
February 9, 2019

The injuries have forced Schmidt into changes, with Rob Kearney starting at full-back and Chris Farrell coming in at outside centre, while Quinn Roux replaces Toner in the second-row and Jack Conan comes in at No.8 in Stander's place.

While the 33-year-old Leinster playmaker looked out of sorts in his first match back after a knee tendon injury, the 26-year-old Russell was razor-sharp in Scotland's 32-20 home win against Italy, showing the finesse he has found since his move from Glasgow to Paris-based Racing 92 at the end of last season.

Kearney last played for Ireland during the November series Test against All Blacks and missed the opening game of the series against England in Dublin with a thigh injury.

"Robbie has a dead leg and just hasn't recovered in time", Schmidt said.

"It does make it hard; the problem is he maybe could have played".

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Asked whether Kearney would've been full-back if Henshaw was fit, Schmidt replied: "Probably once Garry Ringrose was ruled out it was going to be [a case of] trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time".

'You've got Chris Farrell sitting in the wings, massively motivated to do his best, ' said Schmidt. It's a great opportunity to get him in.

"But it's a pretty exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell the chance to play against Scotland". "He stepped in once past year and got man of the match and he's a guy who's getting back to form after the long lay-off he had".

Connacht's Quinn Roux will replace Devin Toner to partner James Ryan at lock.

Not that Joe Schmidt's Ireland will be looking beyond an afternoon of atonement when they line up at Murrayfield, where no visiting side has won in seven successive Six Nations matches.

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