Six Nations 2016: Duncan Weir starts for Scotland in Ireland

Duncan Weir in action for Glasgow Warriors
Duncan Weir has yet to start in the Six Nations this season
Six Nations: Ireland v Scotland
Date: Saturday, 19 March Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV, BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Scotland coach Vern Cotter has made three changes to his starting line-up for their final Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Glasgow fly-half Duncan Weir makes his first start of the campaign with Finn Russell recovering from concussion.

Lock Tim Swinson replaces Jonny Gray, who sustained a torn pectoral muscle in the 29-18 victory over France.

Ryan Wilson returns at number eight for Josh Strauss, who drops to a bench including Rob Harley and Henry Pyrgos.

With Swinson promoted to the starting line-up, Harley will provide second-row as well as blind-side cover, and scrum-half Pyrgos takes over from the unfortunate Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

The Edinburgh player has tasted just three minutes of action after being on the bench for all four Six Nations matches to date.

Pyrgos, meanwhile, has recently returned to action for Glasgow after an operation on his wrist after last autumn's World Cup.

His inclusion means there are 11 Warriors players in the match-day 23.

Graphic of Scotland team to face Ireland

Weir, who will move from Glasgow to Edinburgh at the end of the season, last started a Test against South Africa during the World Cup.

The 24-year-old appeared as a replacement in Scotland's second Six Nations match this year against Wales, but was left out of the 23 for the wins over Italy and France, turning in two man-of-the-match displays for Glasgow instead.

"Duncan has been training with the group and he is playing well with Glasgow, so it is a great opportunity for him," said Cotter.

"He gets to lead us out on the park in the number 10 jersey, and brings his energy and freshness to it, so it's a good thing."

Peter Horne, who excelled after taking over from Russell just five minutes into last Sunday's Test, has to settle for a place on the bench again.

"Peter played really well when he came on," Cotter noted. "We are hoping he will bring the same contribution, whether it is at 10, 12 or 13."

Gray's injury also means a rare start for Swinson, 29, who has won his last 11 caps off the bench, including all four matches in this campaign.

It will be his eighth Test start and his first since the defeat by Italy at Murrayfield in last year's Six Nations.

Wilson, who impressed in the victory in Rome before suffering an ankle injury which hampered his training before the France match, gets a second start at number eight.

"Ryan probably has slightly fresher legs than Josh after the France game," Cotter explained. "We have had limited time to prepare, which is always a bit of a worry, so we have gone with a bit of freshness."

Scotland v Ireland - last 10 meetings
2015 (pre-WC)- Ireland 28-22 Scotland2015 - Scotland 10-40 Ireland
2014 - Ireland 28-6 Scotland2013 - Scotland 12-8 Ireland
2012 - Ireland 32-14 Scotland2011 - (pre-WC) Scotland 10-6 Ireland
2011 - Scotland 18-21 Ireland2010 - Ireland 20-23 Scotland
2009 - Scotland 15-22 Ireland2008 - Ireland 34-13 Scotland

Captain Greig Laidlaw will surpass David Sole's record of leading Scotland in 25 Tests as his side target three straight wins in the championship for the first time since 1996.

Scotland have only won once - in 2010 - in Dublin in eight attempts in the Six Nations era.

They have only scored four tries in their last 10 Six Nations Tests against the Irish over the past decade, but did manage three in a 28-22 pre-World Cup warm-up defeat in Dublin last August.

Scotland line-up:

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Harlequins), Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (captain - Gloucester), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Castres), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay (Scarlets), John Hardie (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors).

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