Jackson to start for Ireland
paddy Jackson successfully completed a kicking session yesterday. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye
Paddy Jackson successfully completed a kicking session yesterday in Aviva Stadium with coach Mark Tainton and came through today’s training session at Carton House without reaction to his tight hamstring.
Set to play in just his second international match, Jackson pulled up earlier in the week during training, but will now start against France on Saturday with Leinster’s Ian Madigan taking his place on the bench along side Munster prop Stephen Archer, who is preferred to Michael Bent.
“Paddy Jackson has been selected at 10 with Ian Madigan on the bench. Paddy kicked yesterday in Aviva and trained fully this morning and he is okay,” said Irish Manager Mick Kearney.
“He had a session on Tuesday as well as treatment. He then came through the kicking session well and then again today with absolutely no discomfort what-so-ever. Paddy is first choice and we have every confidence that he can do all the facets of game very well, including place-kicking. If Ian comes on he will also be place-kicking.”
There has been no wavering from the 21-year-old Ulster player, who had a difficult day from the kicking tee in his first match against Scotland. Management also said that there is no rigid plan in place if Jackson is faced with some difficult opening kicks.
“We will wait and see how he is kicking the ball,” added Kearney. “If he gets a few difficult ones early on and misses but he is striking the ball well there is no reason to change him. He has been kicking well in training and we have every confidence in him to do well.”