Published Saturday, 23 February 2013
Declan Kidney's men lost their last game of the competition when they were beaten 12-6 by England at the Aviva Stadium - the first time that's happened in a decade.
But the head coach is looking for his team to bounce back when they travel to Scotland this weekend, and he's gone with youth over experience.
Ulster players Luke Marshall and Paddy Jackson are in while Ronan O'Gara is on the bench.
And despite having the kicking duties taken away from him at his club, Jackson can go into the game knowing the Irish team and management have full confidence in his kicking.
He was fully backed by Brian O'Driscoll earlier in the week and now both Kidney and captain Jamie Heaslip have done the same.
"You trust them when you select them first day," said the coach.
"I think that's your sign of trust in them and then you have to back that up by letting them get on with the job and just be there for them if they have any queries or questions, but other than that it's just get on with the job really."
Heaslip added: "They've been buzzing this week but I said to them, I feel that they're already capped after the way they performed against Figi in November for us.
"They've trained really, really well, and I just really tell them they are picked due to the way they are playing, and just go out and play their game."
Scotland say they'll be targeting new caps Jackson and Marshall, but Heaslip thinks that will work to Ireland's advantage.
He continued: "If you tire out one or two guys, there's 13 or 14 other people on the field as well so I mean, that's the beauty of rugby, it's a team sport, you can't just single out people I suppose.
"But again, Paddy's played in big games, Luke's played in bug games, they are playing really well right now and they've slotted in perfectly. They know exactly how we want to play, they know all the plays in and out and I think they are just dying to get out there and go after it."
Ireland have won on their last five visits to Scotland in the Six Nations but that will count for nothing on Sunday, especially as both sides need a win to keep the championship hopes alive.
The game kicks off at 2pm.
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