Earls would have no issues filling the 13 shirt if called upon

Irish winger Keith Earls' words at Carton House this afternoon, regarding Leinster centre Garry Ringrose, will come as music to the ears of Ireland supporters dreaming of a rare Grand Slam.

Scotland come to Dublin for the penultimate Six Nations weekend attempting to beat Ireland on their own patch for the first time since 2010.

Following the loss of Robbie Henshaw and Chris Farrell to injury Ireland are starting to look a little bare in midfield but if Earls' comments on Ringrose today are anything to go by, there need be no concern.

"Ringer's been in here the last couple of years, we all know how good he's been," Earls said ahead of today's session. "He's been training the last two weeks with us and it doesn't look like he's been out for that long, he's still sharp and he's been causing havoc.

"We've been unfortunate to lose Robbie and Chris. They're two world class players but there's another world class player coming in. We've been quite blessed the last couple of seasons with thirteens and centres, after Drico, whereas before I suppose I would have had to step in a few times or someone else would have to step in but we've got out and out thirteens [available] now which is great."

Earls is no stranger to the outside centre position himself and has played there at international level but he is in the form of his life this season playing out on the wing. How would he feel about filling in at 13 if he was called upon?

"I'm happy, I'm enjoying my rugby. I don't care where it is. As I said, I think we're in a strong position that we have so many thirteens and fellas don't have to chop and change as much. Look, I'll do whatever's best for the team, rather than myself, so we'll see."