Paddy Jackson is determined to secure Six Nations joy
Ulster may have little to play for in their remaining Champions Cup games, away to Toulon and at home to Leicester Tigers, but Paddy Jackson is hoping to clock some game time in those matches in a bid to force his way into the Six Nations reckoning after an injury-hit campaign.
Mathematically, Ulster are not yet ruled out of qualification, but having lost three of their four pool matches they have a negligible chance of making it through.
Jackson, superb in the opening half as Ulster shredded Treviso on Sunday before enduring a late scare to hold on for a 24-20 win, said he and several of his team-mates have plenty to play for over the next two weekends.
"A lot of the boys will be looking to put their best foot forward for the Six Nations," said the out-half, who scored his first try of the season on Sunday and landed all four of his kicks.
"I have been trying to get games together and I am glad to have gotten three on the bounce now. It has just been annoying with injuries and concussion. I am feeling comfortable again.
"I am going to look at the second half (of the Treviso game) especially for my own game. I just need to keep developing."
Jackson had a large ice-pack on his right shoulder after the game and he admitted: "The shoulder has been very annoying for the last few games. Tackling and passing has been a big struggle off my right hand.
"I was struggling a bit with it last week but it is an AC joint so it is going to be like that for a while. It is bearable."
Coach Neil Doak indicated that he may try out a few permutations in the games against Toulon and Leicester but Jackson said they had one clear target as they head to the Stade Mayol.
"We have got to try and get a win, but Toulon are going to be very difficult - there is no getting around that," he said.
"We are just trying to make sure we get our form back.
"We are going to have to play well for the full 80 minutes and it is going to be a huge task."