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Ireland make two key changes for Scotland match

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Peter O’Mahony will become the latest Irish player to reach a landmark 100 caps for his country on Saturday when Ireland face Scotland in a match pivotal to both sides’ World Cup hopes.

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The 34-year-old flank was named on Thursday in a side showing just two changes to the starting XV that impressed in the 13-8 win over defending champions South Africa a fortnight ago.

Head coach Andy Farrell has brought in hooker Dan Sheehan in preference to Ronan Kelleher whose line-out throwing was awry in the first half of the Springboks match.

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton blamed Kelleher’s poor throwing more on bad calls and this may account for Iain Henderson coming into the second row with the line-out caller James Ryan dropping to the bench.

However, there has been talk of Ryan having a hand injury.

However, his demotion is still a surprise as the Leinster star has been an ever-present in the starting XV under Joe Schmidt and then Farrell with him deputising for Sexton as captain when the latter has been unavailable.

O’Mahony becomes the 10th player to reach the milestone for Ireland, following in the footsteps of current teammates Sexton, Conor Murray and Keith Earls.

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He made his debut for Ireland in a 42-10 win against Italy in February 2012.

Ireland will start as hot favourites to book their ticket in the quarterfinals – probably against New Zealand – with a record-extending 17th successive Test victory.

The Scots have it all to do to end a run of eight consecutive defeats at the hands of their opponents despite two morale-boosting wins over Tonga and Romania.

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 James Ryan, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Stuart McCloskey.

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Date: Saturday, October 7
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 20.00 UK & Ireland time)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

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