Blair Kinghorn makes first start in only change to Scotland side for Ireland clash

Blair Kinghorn will make his first start for Scotland on Saturday after being named in Gregor Townsend's side for their pivotal NatWest 6 Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin.

The Edinburgh wing's inclusion is the only alteration to the team which beat England last time out as he replaces the injured Tommy Seymour.

Kinghorn made his debut off the bench in that triumphant Calcutta Cup win over the Auld Enemy a fortnight ago and will now hope to play a part in a victory over Joe Schmidt's side as the Dark Blues look to claw their way back into Championship contention.

Glasgow wing Lee Jones comes onto the bench following the withdrawal of Scotstoun colleague Seymour with a back injury, while the Warriors' Fraser Brown - who featured in all but two Scotland Tests last year - returns from injury to take Scott Lawson's place as replacement hooker.

There is no place for Richie Gray, despite the giant Toulouse lock rejoining the squad after shaking off a troublesome calf injury as Grant Gilchrist gets the nod to start alongside his brother Jonny Gray.

Flanker John Hardie also misses out despite being handed a recall to Townsend's squad this week for the first time since being suspended by his club side Edinburgh following allegations of cocaine use.

Scotland lost their opening clash to Wales but back-to-back wins over France and England have now raised hopes that they can make a bid for their first title since their 1999 Five Nations success.

Townsend said: "We were delighted with the result against England and backing up our win against France with an improved performance.

"The intent we showed in attack and defence in the first half was very encouraging and we continued to work hard in the second half. The effort that went into denying England a second try in the closing minutes was great to see.

"Our players had prepared very well for the challenge of taking on England and there has been a similar focus and commitment this week at training.

"There are a few areas of our game that we are working to improve and we are aware that we will have to be better if we are to beat a very good Ireland side in Dublin."

Blair Kinghorn

Team:

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)

14. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby)

13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)

12. Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors)

11. Sean Maitland (Saracens)

10. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors)

9. Greig Laidlaw VICE CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne)

1. Gordon Reid (London Irish)

2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby)

3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby)

4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)

5. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)

6. John Barclay CAPTAIN (Scarlets)

7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby)

8. Ryan Wilson VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors)

Substitutes:

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)

17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors)

18. Willem Nel (Edinburgh Rugby)

19. Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors)

20. David Denton (Worcester Warriors)

21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)

22. Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors)

23. Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors)

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