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John Cooney and Will Addison miss out on Ireland starts as squad for Six Nations opener announced


Ulster's John Cooney

Ulster's John Cooney

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ulster's John Cooney

John Cooney and Will Addison have both missed out on a starting spot for Ireland this weekend as Leinster's Jordan Larmour was passed fit.

As had been rumoured, Conor Murray continues his established half-back pairing with Johnny Sexton at Cooney's expense, the Ulster star once again consigned to the replacements for Scotland's visit to the Aviva on Saturday.

Addison had been in with a chance of starting at full-back but that was always thought to be dependent on Larmour's recovery from a foot injury sustained against Benetton two weeks ago.

While Addison and Stuart McCloskey both miss out on the match-day squad altogether, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale all start as Andy Farrell sets out his stall for his first match as head coach.

Despite not playing since December 7, Sexton has been declared fit to captain the team and he'll have familiar faces either side of him in Murray and Bundee Aki as the Connacht man beats Robbie Henshaw to the No 12 shirt.

He's partnered with Garry Ringrose, with Larmour linking up with Andrew Conway and Stockdale in a new-look back three as Keith Earls misses out altogether.

Herring gets the nod at hooker and the South African-born Ulster player joins established props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong, with Henderson and James Ryan renewing their partnership in the second-row.

Debutant number eight Caelan Doris is flanked by CJ Stander, who switches to blindside, and Josh van der Flier as Peter O'Mahony drops to the bench.

Leinster hooker Ronan Kelleher will win his first cap off the bench, with Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Porter covering the props and Devin Toner back on the bench after his controversial World Cup omission.

O'Mahony provides back-row cover, with Cooney's form with Ulster only good enough to earn him a spot among the replacements alongside Ross Byrne and Henshaw.

Scotland name their team on Thursday.

Ireland team to face Scotland: J Larmour; A Conway, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Herring, T Furlong; I Henderson, J Ryan; CJ Stander, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Replacements: R Kelleher, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, D Toner, P O'Mahony, J Cooney, R Byrne, R Henshaw.

Belfast Telegraph