Scotland: Stuart Hogg to reach 100 game milestone in Six Nations match against Ireland while Jack Dempsey starts
Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg will make his 100th appearance for his country when they face Ireland in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Hogg, who made his debut in 2012, has gone on to become their record try-scorer and is set to be the fourth Scotland men’s player to reach the landmark.
Head coach Gregor Townsend has made two changes to his side that lost to France, with Jonny Gray and Jack Dempsey being named in the starting XV.
Gray, who will enter Scotland’s top 10 most capped players in running out for his 76th Test game, joins his brother Richie in an experienced second-row with Grant Gilchrist unavailable through suspension following his red card against Les Bleus last time out.
First Six Nations start for Dempsey
Number eight Dempsey earns a first start of the Six Nations as part of a back-row reshuffle, with captain Jamie Ritchie moving to openside flanker and Matt Fagerson selected on the blindside. Hamish Watson has been moved to bench duty for this weekend.
Scotland’s front-row again comprises hooker George Turner, Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson, the same trio who lined up against Wales and France in the previous Six Nations matches.
For a fourth straight game, the starting back division remains unchanged, with Hogg at full-back and Kyle Steyn and Duhan van der Merwe on the wings.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones – the 2023 Championship’s current leading try scorer – continue their centre partnership and will hope to shine again.
Elsewhere, the half-back combination of Ben White and Finn Russell is retained and Ireland will no doubt be paying close attention to the number 10.
Amongst the replacements, Scott Cummings is in line for his first involvement of this year’s Six Nations, with fellow forwards Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti and Watson also part of coach Townsend’s matchday squad for the Murrayfield fixture.
Triple Crown on the line on Sunday
Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn and Chris Harris complete the 23-player line-up as Scotland go in search of what would be a first Triple Crown win in 33 years.
The Scots are currently in second place on the standings on 10 points heading into Round Four, five points behind pace-setters Ireland, in a huge game.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben White, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Ali Price, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Chris Harris
Date: Sunday, March 12
Venue: BT Murrayfield
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)
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