Rewind: The last time Scotland & Ireland met at Murrayfield
2019 Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One Scotland; listen on BBC Radio Scotland 92-95FM & 5live sports extra; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

It’s fair to say that the rugby relationship between Scotland and Ireland has had to weather a few storms over the years.

People with long memories will go back to 1972, when the Scottish Rugby Union plunged their Irish counterparts into chaos by refusing to allow their team to travel to Dublin to play a Five Nations game, citing security fears amidst troubled times.

Ancient history, yes. But that’s the thing about history – there’s quite a lot of it. In the 2007 Six Nations game at Murrayfield, the then Ireland coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, accused an unnamed player (turned out it was Nathan Hines, the Scottish lock) of deliberately trying to choke Ronan O’Gara, the Irish fly-half.

Hines was cleared of any wrong-doing, both by the citing commissioner and by O’Gara himself who said nobody had tried to throttle him. Years later, when Edinburgh were looking for a coach and the available O’Sullivan was mooted for the job, the SRU quietly let it be known that ‘Chokegate’ made the Irishman persona non grata regardless of his credentials.

There’s been other, more recent, narkiness between these rugby nations, other reasons why Scotland will be desperate to put one over on Ireland on Saturday and why Ireland will be just as desperate to do a job on Scotland.

‘Disrespectful and disappointing’

The edge between Glasgow and Munster had been rising slowly for a few years before it really became bitter. In 2013, Niko Matawalu was accused – and cleared – of biting Donncha O’Callaghan, the Munster lock, in a tempestuous game at Scotstoun.

The verdict declared that while Matawalu’s teeth had come into contact with O’Callaghan’s arm and had caused injury, it was accidental. In the same match, Conor Murray was cited – and cleared – for striking an opponent with an elbow.

It was in December 2016 when things became really fiery. In their first game after the tragic death of their coach, Anthony Foley, Munster hosted Glasgow in a Champions Cup tie in Limerick.

In the early minutes, Keith Earls tip-tackled Fraser Brown and got sent off. Earls aimed a volley of abuse at Brown as he left the field, later accusing him of milking the incident. “I felt he could have done a bit more to save the impact,” said the wing. “I thought he was going for it a small bit, to be honest with you.”

Brown called Earls’ comments “disrespectful” and “disappointing.” Things didn’t get any better between the two sides after that.

Keith Earls was unimpressed with Fraser Brown after his tip-tackle on the Glasgow hooker

‘Scandalous and appalling’

In January 2017 there was an eruption after Glasgow played Munster in another Champions Cup game. Conor Murray accused three players, Jonny Gray, Josh Strauss and Tim Swinson, of cynically targeting his left leg while he was in the process of kicking with his right.

Munster claimed that the offences were repeated throughout the game. Glasgow said, privately, that there was a serious amount of over-egging and deflection going on.

Murray said: “From the smack talk, if you want to call it that, the truth slipped out, players saying, ‘You’d better watch out for that knee’. Well, that’s not where I come from, not how I was brought up, not the values of sport I have.”

Heroes of Munster’s past weighed in. “It was an absolute disgrace,” said Alan Quinlan, the former flanker. “It was scandalous and appalling,’ said Ronan O’Gara. “Going after someone totally exposed with one foot planted is a disappointing new low in rugby.”

The Glasgow coach was Gregor Townsend, who said he disagreed with Munster’s analysis of what went on while keeping the rest of his thoughts to himself.

Conor Murray was in the wars during Munster’s Champions Cup game at Glasgow in January 2017

‘Too mouthy, but they can’t back it up’

Before the 2017 Six Nations game at Murrayfield, Ronan O’Gara had a bit of a moment on national television that would boomerang back and hit him square between the eyes.

As the Scots were being introduced to Princess Anne, O’Gara stated from the studio that he hoped “Ireland hammer them