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Ireland will clinch the 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations with a win over Scotland

Ireland can secure successive Guinness Men’s Six Nations crowns with a win against Scotland in Dublin on Super Saturday.

Andy Farrell’s side are bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back crowns since Eddie Jones’ England in 2017.

After picking up a losing bonus point against England in Round 4, a draw or two losing bonus points would still be enough to secure Ireland the title.

Scotland’s faint Championship hopes rest on a significant victory which overturns the 76-point difference between the sides and even then they would need to sit tight during England’s battle with France.

Should they win, they will clinch the Triple Crown for the first time since 1990, while ending a 14-year wait for a win in Dublin.

So while Ireland’s dreams of becoming the first team to win back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era may be over, both sides still have plenty to play for at the Aviva Stadium.


Andy Farrell has named an unchanged side from the defeat to England, with Twickenham casualty Calvin Nash back in to start after his head knock in Round 4.

There are two changes among the replacements, however, including the return of Garry Ringrose, who will make his first appearance since the World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa, and three-cap fly-half Harry Byrne.

That means there is no place in the 23 for Iain Henderson or the injured Ciaran Frawley, as Farrell moves to a 5-3 bench split for just the second time in this year’s Championship.

Second row Tadhg Beirne will win his 50th cap.

Gregor Townsend has made two changes to his Scotland team, handing a first Six Nations start to centre Stafford McDowall.

The 26-year-old made his only previous international appearance when starting against Italy in the 2023 Summer Nations Series.

Scrum-half Ben White returns to the side as George Horne follows Cam Redpath in dropping down to the bench.

Loosehead Rory Sutherland and back row Matt Fagerson are also recalled to the replacements as Alec Hepburn, Ali Price and former captain Jamie Ritchie all miss out.


Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony: “I’ve been in plenty of final game matches where we haven’t been in with a shout. The position that we’re in, it’s very privileged and you can never take it for granted.

“What a game to be selected for and an opportunity to play for your country to win silverware.

“It’s great that there are so many teams involved that can win it. We are going out to win tomorrow, that’s what we do for every Test match.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend: “We need to deliver our best performance this season to come away with a positive result.

“We know how tough it’s going to be. They are one of the top two teams in the world at home where they have been virtually unbeatable over the last few years. It’s going to require something special but we believe in the players.

“The frustration is that we are not going to Dublin with four wins. We feel we had a win taken away from us against France and we could have been better against Italy.”


They say that to be the best you have to beat the best and that’s the challenge that awaits Scotland’s rookie centre on Saturday.

Bundee Aki has been in rampant form for 12 months now. Having started from the bench for Ireland’s first two matches of the 2023 Championship, he has started every game of significance since and was named Player of the Match in Ireland’s last home win over Wales.

His latest challenger is McDowall, who himself has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround.

He considered working on the family farm when his time at Glasgow Warriors looked to be coming to an end in 2022.

He was offered fresh terms after a rethink from the club and has not looked back since, nine tries in 19 matches last season and his muscular talents will be very welcome against the direct running threat Aki poses.


Ireland have won 13 of their last 14 Test matches against Scotland, including each of their last nine in a row, their joint-longest winning streak against Scotland.

Ireland haven’t lost back-to-back Six Nations games since a run of three between 2020 and 2021.

Scotland have alternated between wins and losses in their last eight Guinness Men’s Six Nations away matches (W4 L4), with their two away games in this year’s Championship having been decided by just one and two points respectively

Should Ireland win the title it would be their sixth title since 2000, drawing level with France and Wales and just one behind England.

Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe is the top try-scorer in this year’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations (five) and needs just one more to equal Stuart Hogg (27) as Scotland’s top try scorer in men’s Test rugby.


Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. James Lowe, 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Joe McCarthy, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Ryan Baird, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Harry Byrne, 23. Garry Ringrose

Scotland: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Kyle Steyn, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Stafford McDowall, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell (cc), 9. Ben White; 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. George Turner, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Grant Gilchrist, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Andy Christie, 7. Rory Darge (cc), 8. Jack Dempsey

Replacements: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Elliot Millar-Mills, 19. Sam Skinner, 20. Matt Fagerson, 21. George Horne, 22. Cameron Redpath, 23. Kyle Rowe

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