Ireland a different beast to England: Maitland

by AAP

Wing Sean Maitland says Ireland in Dublin will be a "different beast" despite the confidence generated by Scotland's win against England as they seek to improve their miserable away form in the Six Nations.

Gregor Townsend's side are on a high after their 25-13 victory over Eddie Jones's team at Murrayfield last month, which lifted them to third on the Six Nations table.

But while they are formidable at home, Scotland are without a win away from home in the tournament, outside of Italy, since beating Ireland in 2010.

And Maitland, who scored in the win over England, understands how big a challenge they face when they travel to Dublin on Saturday, with table-toppers Ireland chasing the Grand Slam.

"We can take a lot of confidence from the last game, but we know it's a different beast," he said. "Everyone's been talking about our away form but we're not resting on our laurels.

"There was a bit of an edge to our training yesterday, from the whole squad, the whole 42 players. That's going to help us massively this week."

Scotland's away struggles were harshly exposed in their opening 34-7 thumping by Wales, and the Saracens winger thinks that has given a false impression of the real situation.

"I wouldn't say we struggle. Obviously we were really disappointed about that first game but this team went over to Australia and beat them away in Sydney and that's not even a year ago, said Maitland.

"It's more that our Six Nations away form is not the best, but it's a fresh week, and there's a real edge about the boys this week."

Scotland skills coach Mike Blair welcomed the competition for places after 10 players joined the squad on Monday.

"Having that slightly larger squad enables you to look at different players and get a better insight," he said.

"It makes a really interesting selection meeting when you have guys coming back from injury up against new guys in great form."

Blair Kinghorn will make a first start for Scotland as he was chosen to replace the injured Tommy Seymour at wing in coach Gregor Townsend's only change to his side to take on Ireland.

Seymour has not recovered from a back injury suffered in Scotland's Calcutta Cup success over England in Edinburgh two weeks ago, when they won 25-13.

The in-form 21-year-old Edinburgh wing Kinghorn, who has scored eight tries for his club side this term - made his debut off the bench in that match two weeks ago.

It was no surprise that Townsend stuck with a winning combination after Scotland scored a second successive win in this year's competition and are now looking to derail Ireland's hopes of a Grand Slam when they play on Saturday.


Scotland team to play Ireland in Dublin

15. Stuart Hogg 

14. Blair Kinghorn

13. Huw Jones

12. Pete Horne

11. Sean Maitland

10 Finn Russell

9. Greig Laidlaw

8. Ryan Wilson

7. Hamish Watson

6. John Barclay (c)

5. Jonny Gray

4. Grant Gilchrist

3. Simon Berghan

2. Stuart McInally

1. Gordon Reid 


16. Fraser Brown

17. Jamie Bhatti

18. Willem Nel

19. Tim Swinson

20. David Denton

21. Ali Price

22. Nick Grigg

23. Lee Jones