Eight Kingussie players, including team goalkeeper Iain Anderson have been selected as the backbone of Scotland's 18-strong squad to face the Irish at Croke Park, Dublin on Sunday, October 15. And there's a first cap for Lochcarron's Kenny Ross at the age of 30.

Team manager John MacKenzie is faced with a dilemma, however, as several players in the squad, which contains four uncapped players at senior grade, are currently injured. The main doubt surrounds Newtonmore's Norman Campbell who will do well to overcome his broken jaw before October 15. MacKenzie, however, remains philosophical. He said: ''Kenny Ross is in the squad on performance and in terms of the commitment he has shown to the selection process, just the same as Dan MacRae who has been recalled. Ross has been something of a late developer but is a player with a tremendous engine. I have been keeping my eye on him for some time.''

Lochcarron's Ross joins former national player of the year and team-mate Iain MacKenzie who earned his first cap in Kilkenny two years ago. Of the eight Kingussie players, three are Borthwicks. All are defenders with Iain getting his first cap. Seven players have been placed on standby for the plane from Prestwick on October 13 for the two-day preparation before the match at the home of hurling, Croke Park.

MacKenzie is confident the senior squad can maintain their unbeaten record since 1993. ''There are some doubts about injuries and so on which we may have to react to but I have every faith in the players I have chosen. They will rise to the occasion. Of that I have no doubt.''

Meanwhile, Kyles Athletic have switched their match against Newtonmore to the Eilan because of difficulties following a landslide at their pitch. The diggers have moved in and repairs to the road and removal of debris from the slip could take two weeks. More worrying than the landslide itself is the damage which almost inevitably will be done by heavy vehicles as repairs continue.

Kyles are therefore looking at alternative venues if their Tighnabruaich pitch is out of action long term. Newtonmore, meanwhile have lost the influential Evan Cheyne to a training injury to add to their woes. Scotland pool:

Ian Anderson (Kingussie), Norman Campbell (Newtonmore), James Clark (Fort William), David Borthwick, Iain Borthwick, Stephen Borthwick, Alastair Dallas (all Kingussie), Rory Fraser, Kingussie (captain), Fraser Inglis (Oban Camanachd), Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow (Glenorchy), William MacDonald (Fort William), Ian MacKenzie (Lochcarron), Dan MacRae (Kyles Athletic), Adam Robertson (Fort William), Ken Ross (Lochcarron), Ronald Ross (Kingussie), Victor Smith (Fort William), Kevin Thain (Kingussie). Reserves: Fraser MacDonald (Kyles Athletic), Alastair MacLeod, (Kingussie), John MacLeod (Fort William), Ewen MacSween, Dougald Rankin (both Skye), Scott Robertson (Inveraray), Hector Whitelaw (Bute).