Schmidt makes a couple of surprise calls for Scotland clash

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Joe Schmidt has opted for consistency ahead of Saturday's NatWest Six Nations visit of Scotland, making just two changes to the side that defeated Wales two weeks ago.

There is no risk this week with the head coach declaring the Ulster and Lions second row fully fit again despite his involvement being limited to a place among Ireland's replacements.

Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson look set to return to the pack, having recovered from hamstring injuries.

Leinster colleagues James Ryan and Devin Toner are named in the second row, while the loose forwards remain Dan Leavy, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander.

While the Scotland camp is still on a high after the England victory, Maitland admits they have to up their game against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland.

A national-record 11th consecutive win plus a bonus point would clinch Ireland the championship if England, playing France in Paris afterward, does not match the Irish. "It also adds a bit of our last 20 or 30 minutes of the game, where an athlete like Iain can come on".

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Leinster star Henshaw dislocated his right shoulder in Ireland's 56-19 win over Italy on February 10, and Munster's Farrell - who replaced Henshaw for the 37-27 win over Wales - tore knee ligaments in training.

"There's always concerns about players for different reasons, and Garry's only had six games in this entire season", Schmidt said.

He's been extraordinary when he has played for us, he's done a great.

Schmidt conceded that the 23-year-old's selection was "needs-must" given the team's injury problems, with Jared Payne still unavailable because of persistent headaches.

There will be live TV coverage of Saturday's game on TV3.

Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton are named at 9 and 10 respectively with Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and 21 year old Jacob Stockdale, a scorer of 8 tries in seven global test matches, forming the back-three for the fourth successive game.