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Jacob Stockdale up for winner-takes-all clash with Australia


By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Jacob Stockdale can't wait to tear into Australia tomorrow as Ireland prepare for their crucial concluding Test with the Wallabies in Sydney (11am UK time).

Joe Schmidt's men will be seeking a first series win Down Under since 1979 at the Allianz Stadium, with the contest finely poised after the visitors fought back to win in Melbourne having dropped the first Test.

Free-scoring Stockdale is one of five changes made by Schmidt, coming in on the wing in place of Andrew Conway, and after a watching brief last time out he can't wait to get back into the thick of the action.

"Definitely it was tough sitting on the sidelines and watching it last week so I'm glad to be involved," he said.

"These are the kind of games that you play rugby for, we're definitely very excited for it.

"The preparation has gone pretty well this week. All the training is done now, it's just about putting in a performance."

For all the 22-year-old's scoring feats over the past 12 months, he is still a relative novice at this level having won his first cap only a little over a year ago. It was only two weeks ago that he moved into double-digit caps and he has been trying to soak up all he can on his first visit to Australia.

"It's been a brilliant experience," he said. "I'd never been to Australia before so getting over here and seeing some of the culture was really enjoyable.

"The first Test was a big experience for me and a bit of a learning curve as well so it was very good for me on the whole."

Tomorrow could also bring a red-letter day for Ross Byrne, the uncapped Leinster out-half having been named on the bench as back-up to Johnny Sexton

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