All the action as Ireland and Scotland kick off their Six Nations campaign.

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Gregor Townsend has lobbed in his usual selectorial grenade by picking Nick Haining, the Edinburgh No  8, to face Ireland in their Six Nations opener.

The 29-year-old addition to a very mobile pack is not the only selection providing a clue to Scotland's intentions in Dublin.

Up front, the inclusion of Zander Fagerson at tighthead instead of WP Nel, whose lack of game time means he does not even make it onto the bench, points to a high-tempo game plan.


So, too, does the inclusion of Scott Cummings alongside Jonny Gray in the second row, where veteran Grant Gilchrist fails to make the bench. The presence on the bench of Cornell du Preez, however, is astonishing after the way he went missing when Scotland were monstered in Cardiff in Townsend's first game as Scotland coach.

In the backs, Adam Hastings steps up at fly-half in place of the absent Finn Russell, while Northampton centre Rory Hutchinson – whose absence from the World Cup looks more like a mistake every day – provides cover for No  10 and inside centre from the bench.

The selection of the resurgent Huw Jones at outside centre brings the number of current or former Glasgow Warriors players in the side to 10, but also underlines Townsend's determination to be seen to be picking on form.

This is a side who have been shaped in part by external forces and the retirement of three old stagers in Greig Laidlaw, John Barclay and Tommy Seymour.

Darcy Graham's late injury has given Blair Kinghorn an opportunity on the wing. Injuries to Magnus Bradbury and Matt Fagerson mean that Haining, a surprise choice for the Six Nations squad, makes an even more unlikely appearance for his first cap, when he will face Ireland's uncapped Caelan Doris of Leinster.

- Telegraph UK