What we learned from the Scotland team to face Ireland

How do you follow one of the greatest days in your recent history?

How do you follow one of the greatest days in your recent history?

That is the challenge that faces Gregor Townsend and Scotland who head to Dublin on the back of their Calcutta Cup coronation in round three.

Click here for the complete 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixture list

The starting XV that cut England to ribbons at BT Murrayfield has had just one injury-enforced change to take on the Grand Slam chasers Ireland.

Here’s everything we learned from Townsend’s selection for the NatWest 6 Nations trip to the Aviva Stadium:    Blair’s big day   After his debut last weekend off the bench against England, Blair Kinghorn will make his first start on Saturday against Dublin.

The 21-year-old comes onto the wing in place of the injured Tommy Seymour to form a back three with Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland.

The youngster has been a revelation in the Guinness Pro14 this season for Edinburgh, making more metres than any other player in the league.

Those appearances have come at full-back, but it is on the wing that he will line up this weekend.

And with Ireland’s kick chase well renowned, Kinghorn will need to use all of his defensive solidity to keep the men in green at bay.

But his attacking skillset makes him a must-watch, and with Hogg and Maitland they will look to counter at any and every opportunity.     Injuries easing   At the start of the Championship, Scotland’s injury list made for painful reading.

Their front row stocks in particular looked threadbare yet slowly but surely the squad depth is returning and Townsend has much closer to a full deck to choose from now.

That strength in depth is proven by the fact that British & Irish Lion Richie Gray is back firing fit, impressing for Toulouse in the Top 14 last weekend, but cannot crack the matchday 23.

Nor can Byron McGuigan, so impressive in the autumn and a starter against Wales, who is back from a groin injury but also misses out this weekend.   Brown’s back in town   But one man who is back fit and desperate to make up for lost time is hooker Fraser Brown.

The No.2 has been a near ever-present for Scotland since his international breakthrough until injuries have slowed him this season.

In his absence, Stuart McInally has taken charge of the No.2 jersey but Brown is back on the bench and pushing hard for inclusion.

The Glasgow Warrior has moved ahead of Scott Lawson, an unused replacement in each of the last two games, and could add a real impact in the latter stages in Dublin.   Lee’s left it late   Lee Jones has yet to appear for Scotland in this year’s Championship but did start for his country last autumn when they gave world champions New Zealand a serious scare.

A head injury has kept him out of contention for the last couple of rounds but the Glasgow Warriors speedster could make a real difference when introduced this weekend.

The 29-year-old, who cut his teeth on the Sevens circuit, has seven caps to his name and a Championship try against France back in 2012.

And his form in training has earned him the nod ahead of McGuigan for the back-three cover.   Away day woes   Scotland’s away record since the Five Nations became Six does not make for pretty reading.

They have only won six away games in the last 18 years and four of them have come in Rome.

It is eight years since their last win in Dublin and they are facing an Ireland side that have never lost at home in the Championship under Joe Schmidt.

But Townsend’s side are undoubtedly on an upward curve, they beat Australia in Sydney last summer, have just beaten England for the first time in a decade and are in confident mood.

In Huw Jones and John Barclay they have two of the in-form players in the Championship, not to mention world-class talents like Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.

If ever there was a chance to end their away day blues, then surely this was it. Can they replicate their heroics of a fortnight ago straight away and insert themselves right back into the Championship race?

Click here to view the full table after three rounds of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations