SCOTLAND will specifically target Ireland’s star half-back pair in Dublin today but have insisted they will do so within the rules of the game.

Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton are among the best players in their position in the world, according captain John Barclay, and the key to a rare away win in the Six Nations for Gregor Townsend's men will be stopping these two from running the game.

There have been suggestions in Ireland this week that Scotland will use any means necessary to prevent the home team's nine and 10 from playing their best stuff, something which goes back to a Muster-Glasgow Warriors Champions Cup game from last season.

The Irish then felt Glasgow's players deliberately went for scrum half Murray’s standing foot which former Ireland player Ronan O’Gara described as “scandalous and appalling”.

Murray himself said at the time that he felt Jonny Gray and others targeted his left leg while kicking with his right.

Townsend, the Scotland coach, was in charge of Glasgow for that game along with the national team’s defence coach Matt Taylor who admitted the Scots would need to keep an eye on these two players.

But he strongly refuted that any of his players would step over the line at the Aviva Stadium.

“Listen, I think their nine and 10 are the best two players in the Ireland team,” said Taylor. “For us to be successful against them, we have to put them under pressure.

“That means charge-downs. That’s what we’re going to do. We’ll do it within the law, like we’ve always done. Personally, I think there was a lot made of it when there was not much in it.

“We did everything within the laws, both last year and referring to the Glasgow game, which I was part of. You know, we never got penalised in that game. We never got cited.

So, I think it was a bit of a storm in a teacup, to be honest.”

Barclay, the only Scotland player to have won in Dublin, was full of praise for the Murray/Sexton axis and, like Taylor, admitted they were the heartbeat of the Irish team which meant a plan was to pressure them.

“It’s not more of a focus than it was last week against England” said the captain. “Nine and tens tend to run the game and in Connor Murray and Jonny Sexton they have two of the best in the world.

“They were the combination for the Lions, won enumerate things with Ireland and the provinces so, of course, we are going to try to put them under pressure.”