Rob Kearney returns to Ireland line-up for encounter against Scotland

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Chris Farrell will make only his second Six Nations start against Scotland on Saturday after Robbie Henshaw was added to Ireland's injury list.

Munster powerhouse Farrell will partner Bundee Aki in midfield, with Robbie Henshaw dropping out of Ireland's match squad due to a dead leg.

Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 John Cooney, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour.

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As expected, Quinn Roux starts in place of Devin Toner who has an ankle injury, Sean O'Brien gets the nod with Josh Van der Flier moved onto the bench and Jack Conan wears the number eight shirt, with CJ Stander also out of action.

Schmidt last week bemoaned his side's habit of starting slowly having failed to win their opening Six Nations game for the third time in four years, and said on Thursday that the bruising defeat had stung for much of the week. It's a knock on top of a knock.

Toner's absence has exacerbated the prior lock losses of Iain Henderson to a finger problem and Tadhg Beirne to a knee complaint.

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"It does make it hard; the problem is he maybe could have played".

Asked whether Kearney would've been full-back if Henshaw was fit, Schmidt replied: "Probably once Garry Ringrose was ruled out it was going to be [a case of] trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time". It's a great opportunity to get him in.

'We're just going to have to forge ahead, but it's an exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell a run against Scotland.

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This is Schmidt's last Six Nations in charge of Ireland before he stands down after this year's World Cup in Japan.

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