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Scotland v Ireland: Jones all fired up after regaining fitness

By Andy Newport

Huw Jones insists there will be no ring rust as he prepares to dust himself down for his RBS Six Nations debut.

The Stormers centre has not featured since making his breakthrough for Scotland in their autumn clash against Australia.

He announced himself with a double against the Wallabies before another maverick break set up Sean Maitland to score against Argentina a week later.

However, he injured his foot in that move and has spent the last two and a half months on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old has been forced to convince head coach Vern Cotter he is back up to speed with a series of gruelling extra sessions. And now he says he is ready to go against Joe Schmidt's Ireland today.

He said: "I went back to Cape Town and took care of my injury and started pre-season with the Stormers at the beginning of January. I did that for three weeks before coming to the Scotland squad. I am confident I'm ready and the coach has confidence in me. Even though I haven't had the same match practice as everyone else, I do feel fit."

Jones admitted he was a little unsettled by news that Schmidt tipped him to become this year's most impressive young player.

"I didn't know he'd said that," he said. "I'm not sure if it's mind games or he's just being nice. I hope he looks back and realises it was a good decision but something he shouldn't have said."


SCOTLAND - Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Jonny Gray; Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, Josh Strauss. Replacements: Ross Ford, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Tim Swinson, John Barclay, Ali Price, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett.

IRELAND - Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong; Iain Henderson, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Tommy Bowe.

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