Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Move over Paddy, here's Jonny: Fit-again Sexton will sideline Jackson

Paddy Jackson

Young Ulster fly half Paddy Jackson may have earned his Ireland colours with a command performance in Saturday's autumn series victory over Samoa but must today accept that he will have to make way for experienced rival Jonny Sexton in this weekend's Aviva clash with Australia.

France-based Racing Metro and Lions No10 Sexton confirmed his recovery from a hip injury, that gave Jackson his chance against Samoa, while accepting the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year award.

Thursday's team announcement will be disappointing but no disgrace for Ulster playmaker Jackson (right), highly rated as one for the future with province and country.

Praise from Ireland coach Joe Schmidt for his display against Samoa was echoed by Sexton, who said: "I thought Paddy did really well, he was really composed and place kicked well and controlled the boys around the pitch well. So it is great for Ireland that at such a young age he is starting to come through and show some great form for Ulster.

"It was tough to watch, any time you're competing with them in the squad you don't like to give them a chance, but he got his chance and did really well."

As for his injury, Sexton insisted: "It's fine. It wasn't anything to be concerned about as a kicker, it was on my other side. It was thought best to rest for the week and I didn't train, now it's great."

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