We look ahead to Saturday’s 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin with our Ireland vs Scotland prediction and preview.

Ireland come into this match with a strong chance of securing consecutive Guinness Men’s Six Nations titles for just the second time since Italy joined the Six Nations Championship in 2000 (also 2014 and 2015). They’ll be disappointed not to have wrapped it up already though, after suffering a surprising last-gasp defeat to England last week – a result that scuppered their grand slam hopes.

Equally surprising was Scotland’s defeat to Italy – their first loss against the Azzurri since 2015 – and both teams come into their final match with a point to prove.

A potential first Triple Crown since 1990 is also on the line for Gregor Townsend’s men should they claim their first win in Dublin since 2010. Given their two losses this year have come by a combined margin of just six points, they’ll feel more than capable of lifting some silverware in a campaign that could’ve easily resulted in so much more.


Ireland and Scotland have both proved exceptionally effective when entering their opponents’ 22. They are the only two teams to have scored points on over half of their 22 visits this year.

Ireland are also just as adept at defending their own line, conceding just 1.5 points per defensive 22 entry, fewer than any other team.

Ireland’s set-piece has functioned particularly well under the watchful eye of Paul O’Connell. The Irish are the only nation with a 90%+ success rate at both the lineout (92%) and scrum (90%) in this year’s Championship. They’ve also made five lineout steals, the joint-most of any team, alongside the Scots.

Six Nations Lineout steals 2024


Discipline has been an issue for both Ireland and Scotland, who are the only two sides to have conceded 40+ penalties in this year’s Six Nations. In fact, they are the only teams to have conceded more penalties than they’ve won this year with Scotland having conceded almost twice as many penalties as they’ve been awarded (44 conceded, 23 awarded; Ireland 45-39).

As a result, Andy Farrell’s side have also been shown four yellow cards, more than any other nation, with captain Peter O’Mahony the only person to have had two separate stints in the sin bin. Scotland, for their part have been shown three yellows, but they did avoid any during their defeat to Italy.

Jack Crowley has proven a capable replacement for the retired Johnny Sexton but will be keen to improve his accuracy off the kicking tee. Ireland’s 75% place-kick success rate is the second-lowest in the Championship, only ahead of England (62%), and any misses could well prove costly in a game of tight margins against a Scottish side who have the highest such rate (95%).

Standout Players

Just three players have scored more than two tries in this year’s Six Nations, with that trio all set to start in this match; Irish duo James Lowe and Dan Sheehan (four each) and Duhan van der Merwe, whose five tries is already the joint-most by any Scotland player in a single campaign, alongside the five he himself scored in 2021.

One more try would see him equal Stuart Hogg (27) as Scotland’s top try scorer in men’s Test rugby (26 currently). Ireland, however, are the only side he’s yet to score against in the Championship – he’s scored at least two against every other nation.

In addition to his four tries, James Lowe also ranks first for metres gained (287), just ahead of Van der Merwe (277) and second for kicking metres (1587), only behind imperious fly-half Finn Russell (2386), who has kicked two of the three 50/22s in the competition this year.

Duhan van der Merwe - Tries vs Ireland

Ireland vs Scotland Prediction

Ireland vs Scotland Prediction Six Nations

The Opta supercomputer makes Ireland heavy home favourites ahead of kick-off at the Aviva Stadium, giving them an enormous 81.8%% chance of winning. Doing so would see them secure back-to-back Championships for the first time since 2015.

Ireland vs Scotland Lineups

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. James Lowe, 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park, 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Joe McCarthy, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Ryan Baird, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Harry Byrne, 23. Garry Ringrose

Scotland: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Kyle Steyn, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Stafford McDowall, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ben White, 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. George Turner, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Grant Gilchrist, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Andy Christie, 7. Rory Darge, 8. Jack Dempsey

Replacements: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Elliot Millar-Mills, 19. Sam Skinner, 20. Matt Fagerson, 21. George Horne, 22. Cameron Redpath, 23. Kyle Rowe

Other Six Nations Round 5 Fixtures:

Wales vs Italy – Principality Stadium, Cardiff – Saturday 16 March, 14:15 GMT

France vs England – Groupama Stadium, Lyon – Saturday 16 March, 20:00 GMT

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