The 2019 Six Nations second round of fixtures kick off when Scotland and Ireland meet at BT Murrayfield for the chance to claim the historic Centenary Quaich.
The two great nations meet on Saturday 2nd February (kick-off 2.15pm) to battle it out for the opportunity to maintain or kickstart their Six Nations Championships with a bang.
Few trophies have been as evenly shared out in world rugby like the Centenary Quaich since its introduction in 1989 to the winners of the match between Ireland and Scotland.
Ireland have been the benefactor of the trophy 15 times with Scotland notching up 14 victories over the Irish since its conception.
Click here for the full 2019 Six Nations fixture list
The last time these two met in March, Ireland were the side that reigned supreme on the day to keep their aspirations of sealing a third Grand Slam on track.
Jacob Stockdale made the difference, scoring two tries in the 28-8 bonus-point victory, but who will gain the upper hand this year is anybody’s guess.
CHANGE IN FORTUNES
Ireland and Scotland have faced off 134 times in their history since their first meeting in 1877, with Scotland holding a slight advantage over their competitors with 67 victories to Ireland’s 62 over that period.
Scotland were undefeated in the Championship for 11 matches between 1989 and 1999, earning ten wins and a draw in the period as the Scots asserted their dominance in the fixture.
But since Ireland reigned supreme at Lansdowne Road in 2000 in a 44-22 win, they have experienced an upturn in fortunes in the Centenary Quaich, going undefeated between 2002 and 2009.
The last time Ireland travelled to BT Murrayfield, it was anything but easy pickings for the visitors as Scotland triumphed in a narrow 27-22 win.
The result meant Scotland earned only their second opening-round victory in Six Nations history as the hosts held off a stunning Irish comeback thanks to two tries from Stuart Hogg.
But everything changed in the 2018 Championship as Stockdale scored a blistering double in the 28-8 victory at the Aviva Stadium to put Ireland on the verge of a third-ever Grand Slam.
Ireland’s last victory at BT Murrayfield was an occasion no Irish rugby fan will ever forget as they successfully defended their Six Nations title in 2015 with a huge 40-10 win in the Scottish capital.
Ireland needed a 21-point victory to overtake Wales and swing the title in their favour on points difference to claim their third Six Nations Championship, and they delivered as scores from Jared Payne and Sean O’Brien were enough to defend their crown.
On one of the most dramatic days in the Championship’s history, Ireland then had to watch England come within a whisker of snatching the title, only to fall short against France at Twickenham.
Instead, Paul O’Connell and his team were able to celebrate in front of their fans in the BT Murrayfield night as they were presented with the trophy.
Few stadiums are as steeped in rugby history as BT Murrayfield – the location of Scotland’s home Six Nations fixtures since 1925.
Situated in the Scottish capital, the stadium has hosted everything from the 1991 Rugby World Cup semi-final to David Bowie concerts in its stands.
But Edinburgh has so much more to offer than its rugby, and no sight is as synonymous with the city as the famous Edinburgh castle.
Constructed in the 12th century during the reign of Scottish King David I, the attraction is Scotland’s most visited tourist hotspot with over two million visitors in 2017 and boasts an incredible mix of stunning architecture and richly ingrained history.
Elsewhere, Edinburgh Zoo is situated just down the road from BT Murrayfield. The site is the only zoo in the United Kingdom that houses Giant Panda’s since their move to the city in 2011.
For rugby fans keen to sample the delights of Edinburgh’s pubs, just over two miles from the stadium is Edinburgh’s Old Town where a whole host of drinkeries can be found.
BT Murrayfield is Scotland’s largest stadium and packs in 67,144 supporters on matchdays.
Constructed in time for the 1925 Five Nations Championship, Scotland beat England in front of 70,000 fans to win their first Five Nations Grand Slam.
But since its renovation in 1995 the stadium has altered massively in appearance and now boasts an artificial surface.
There are several ways of accessing BT Murrayfield with the stadium accessible by plane, train and car.
Edinburgh Airport is just six miles away from the stadium with a short tram linking the two.
The stadium is accessible via bus with Lothian Buses, First Bus and Scottish CityLink all running services to the stadium.
Trains are an efficient way of reaching the ground with Waverley Station only a short bus, tram or taxi ride away. Alternatively, Haymarket Station is also 20 minutes away.
Perhaps the best way of reaching the stadium is by tram with the service running frequently to the entrance of BT Murrayfield from locations such as Edinburgh Airport, Ingliston Park & Ride, Edinburgh Gateway and Haymarket.
Additionally, there are a number of park and ride options available at Ferrytoll, Ingliston, Hermiston, Sheriffhall, Wallyford and Straiton all running on match days.