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Townsend makes big midfield selection for Ireland clash

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Stafford McDowall is set to make just his second Scotland appearance after being selected to start in their Six Nations match against leaders Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

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The 26-year-old Glasgow centre made his debut against Italy in a World Cup warm-up match last year before being dropped from Gregor Townsend’s squad for the tournament in France.

Regular midfielder Sione Tuipulotu’s recent injury enabled Cameron Redpath to make a rare start in last weekend’s damaging 29-31 defeat away to Italy.

But McDowall, in good form for Glasgow, has now been chosen ahead of Redpath as Scotland look to end the Championship on a high.

The other change to the team that started in Rome sees first-choice scrumhalf Ben White return in place of George Horne after the Toulon No.9 was rested for the Stadio Olimpico clash with the Azzurri.

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

Date: Saturday, March 16
Venue: Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Kick-off: 16.45 (16.45 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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