Declan Kidney says that Rory Best is the best candidate for the Ireland captaincy in the absence of the injured Paul O’Connell to face Scotland in this weekend’s Six Nations encounter.
The Ulster man will wear the nation’s captain’s armband for a third time at the Aviva Stadium as Ireland look to bounce back from the disappointment of failing to close out victory against France last weekend. The 30 year old Poyntzpass native previously led the team out in Internationals against Canada and the USA in 2009 and dismissed injury fears about his involvement saying he had a precautionary medical check but is ready to lead this weekend.
Munster’s Donncha Ryan will replace his Munster counterpart starting his first RBS 6 Nations game having featured as a replacement in five previous games in the championship.
Eoin Reddan will start at out half partnering Jonathan Sexton in place of the injured Conor Murray with Tomas O’Leary named in the replacements
Connaught’s Mike McCarthy, who made his Ireland debut in the Guinness Summer Series last August is also included in the match day squad.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Scotland, 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, March 10, kick-off 5pm):
15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 - Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 - Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
12 - Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 - Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
9 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 - Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
6 - Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 - Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 - Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 - Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht)
19 - Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
20 - Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
21 - Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 - Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)