Anscombe expects Jackson to bounce back quickly
Ulster coach Mark Anscombe: "We have the utmost faith in Paddy."
This has already been a week when provincial colleagues have felt compelled to defend those who came in for the most severe criticism following Irelands defeat to Scotland last Sunday.
Leinster manager Guy Easterby supported Jamie Heaslip’s captaincy on Monday. Yesterday Brian O’Driscoll circled the wagons further despite initially expressing “disappointment” with Declan Kidney’s decision to strip him of the armband.
Ulster coach Mark Anscombe is no different, speaking about Paddy Jacksons bright future even though the 21-year-old outhalf was hauled off by the Irish management in Murrayfield after 64 minutes.
In an otherwise impressive performance, Jackson’s readiness for the Test arena has been questioned after he left eight points out on the field in a four-point game.
“Thats what happens in sport,” said Anscombe. “You’re either a hero or not. We are judged on performances. It’s what happens. He is a young man and the spotlight was on him.
“People have expectation if you are in an international team, so the expectation is high, but we’ve got to be a little bit patient with young men when they get these opportunities. Sometimes we make a meal of it and that can be tough on the guys, but he has been through it before. He bounced back superbly after last year’s Heineken Cup final.
“He will be a great player . . . He is a resilient fella. He did some good things against Scotland. Between him and Luke (Marshall), they created a couple of breaks early on. He looked confident in that area, but the game never got going and it was difficult for Paddy. He is good player and he will play a lot more games for Ireland.
“We have the utmost faith in Paddy,” Anscombe continued while also confirming that Jackson will start at outhalf and place kick against Zebre in Ravenhill this Friday.
“We’re really grateful we have him back for this Friday night and we’re looking forward to getting him back on the horse. He is very much a key ingredient of our team. I spoke to him this morning and he’s fine. Paddy is a jovial kind of guy, bubbly and resilient. He bounces back pretty quickly.”