11 Mar 2009

4 changes to Ireland squad

7:15 am on 11 March 2009

Centre Gordon D'Arcy will make his first start in a year as one of four changes to the Ireland rugby side for their Six Nations championship match against Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend.

D'Arcy, returning to his best after breaking his arm in last year's tournament, replaces Paddy Wallace at centre.

Peter Stringer comes in for Tomas O'Leary at scrumhalf, Rory Best starts at hooker instead of Jerry Flannery and number eight Denis Leamy replaces Jamie Heaslip.

A win this week and then in Cardiff against Wales would secure the title for the first time since 1985 and a grand slam for the first time since 1948.

35-year-old prop John Hayes will become Ireland's most-capped player on Sundayy when his 93rd appearance takes him beyond lock Malcolm O'Kelly.

Ireland head the standings after wins over France, Italy and England and have not lost a Six Nations game against Scotland since 2001.