Joe Schmidt is reluctant to replace Ireland half backs

Ireland's Kearney set for 6 Nations return - Nine Wide World of Sports

"We play strong off set-piece, we play a varied kicking game, we play with a varied attacking game".

"So I guess I'll leave them to do their analysis, and we'll keep analysing what we're doing, and trying to improve".

In other changes to the pack, Jack Conan comes in for the injured CJ Stander at No 8, with openside flank Sean O'Brien taking the place of Josh van der Flier, who moves to the bench.

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

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan, Quinn Roux, Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien, Jack Conan. This was, after all, Cooney's first taste of Six Nations rugby, and he was only on the...

Schmidt said of Chris Farrell's starting berth: "Robbie [Henshaw] has a dead leg and just hasn't recovered in time". 'It's just a bit of aggravation after having a knock.

"It does make it hard".

'It does make it hard; the problem is he maybe could have played, but if you get another bump on it, it debilitates you quickly, and then you have to make another change'. "It probably took us until today to really get a spring back in our step and really get hungry because we can't pass up a second opportunity".

Maitland - who has four Heineken Champions Cup tries from five appearances this season - will form a familiar back three with Glasgow Warriors wing Tommy Seymour and full-back Stuart Hogg, with the trio combining for the 18th time for Scotland.

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