Jackson winning his fitness battle

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss talks to players including Paddy Jackson and Brian O’Driscoll during squad training at Carton House. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss talks to players including Paddy Jackson and Brian O’Driscoll during squad training at Carton House. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Wed, Mar 6, 2013, 00:00

Rugby:Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson is winning his battle to be fit for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against France after coming through a kicking session at the Aviva Stadium today.

Although it was a down day for most of the squad, both Jackson and Leinster’s Ian Madigan worked with assistant coach Mark Tainton at the ground.

Jackson pulled up with a hamstring niggle during training on Monday, forcing Ireland coach Declan Kidney to leave the number 10 slot vacant when naming his team on Tuesday afternoon.

Madigan was in line to make his debut in the event of Jackson having to pull out, with Ronan O’Gara expected to receive a recall to the squad after being left out of the original squad for training this week.

In a short statement this afternoon, the IRFU said that Jackson “came through as expected and will train fully with the squad tomorrow”.

Kidney will confirm his matchday 23 tomorrow, with a decision also being made between Leinster’s Michael bent and Munster’s Stephen Archer for the back-up tighthead slot on the bench after Ulster’s Declan Fitzpatrick was ruled out through injury.

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