Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has said that the main reason for the omission of Keith Earls and Rob Kearney from Sunday’s matchday 23 for Scotland was due to a lack of time in building continuity.
Earls and Kearney have not been able to train fully this week as they recover from respective knee and ankle injuries.
Schmidt confirmed that the players have trained to an extent this week but it wasn’t enough to consider them for selection. With regards to Joey Carbery, the Munster out-half will be involved as a reserve and will take part in the warm-up on Sunday to cater for any unforeseen late withdrawals.
“Joey will run fully in the warm-up as a reserve back,” Schmidt said.
Keith Earls was the sharpest player on Wednesday at training. He was very, very sharp. He’s good and Rob Kearney trained well as well.
“It (leaving Earls & Kearney out) was really just that we were getting tight for time. The best continuity we had was to have the guys we’d had training through the time we’ve been here.
“It’s exciting to have the back three we’ve got as well. It’s a great opportunity and a fantastic challenge.”
Schmidt is backing both Larmour and Conway to succeed on Sunday and he references Larmour’s aerial battle with Israel Folau in the 2018 summer tour as something which he takes comfort from.
“I think that their enthusiasm is something that’s contagious, their ability to get themselves into the game. Andrew has proven aerial ability and that will be really useful for us.
“I still have the vision very clearly in my mind of Jordan Larmour beating Israel Folau to a ball in the third Test in Sydney on our Australian tour last year.
“So he’s very good there as well, and of course, Jacob (Stockdale) is a big man in the back-field. They’re all feeding off each other, they are all very, very keen to impress.
“And now they have that opportunity.”
Ireland Team v Scotland
Ireland: Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Jack Carty, Chris Farrell.