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Ireland v Australia: Brilliant Paddy Jackson can inspire Irish to take Aussies' scalp: Andrew Trimble


Andrew Trimble

Andrew Trimble

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Andrew Trimble

Andrew Trimble believes his Ulster team-mate Paddy Jackson is the man to lead Ireland to victory against Australia on Saturday (5.30pm kick-off).

With Jonathan Sexton out with a hamstring injury, Ireland will round off their November schedule without their usual out-half and it is Jackson who is expected to be promoted to the No.10 jersey for the visit of the beaten World Cup finalists when the team is announced today.

His provincial joint-captain is sure that Jackson will prove to be a more than able stand-in.

“He is the heartbeat of Ulster,” Trimble enthused.

“You could say he is our most important player.

“He demands standards. What he does for Ulster, Jonathan does for Leinster, and he makes sure we are competing at the right level and playing in the right places.

“He is a guy who steps up. I think the world of him and he has an outstanding character.”

Jackson missed the victory over New Zealand in Chicago, but started a week later against Canada and was an early replacement for Sexton when the All Blacks were victorious in Dublin.

It was his performances on the summer tour to South Africa, however, that have Trimble so confident he can start to influence the Test arena like he does the PRO12.

“He is a tough wee fellow now,” added the winger.

“He is physically and mentally pretty tough and pretty resilient I think.

“He stood tall and I thought he performed unbelievably well in South Africa. A lot was asked of him and I thought he performed unbelievably well.

“I have been in a position where I have seen him week in, week out for the last few years. He is a guy who really makes our team tick for Ulster and he is starting to become a player who makes Ireland tick as well.”

Despite securing a first-ever win over New Zealand this month, Trimble feels that a loss on Saturday would see the international window looked at with an air of frustration.

The 32-year-old recalls all too well how it felt to make history in June, by beating the Springboks in South Africa for the first time, only to lose on their next two occasions on the big stage.

"When we were in South Africa, we got that big win and it was ground-breaking stuff and it was a first for an Irish team and we were very proud of what we accomplished, but we didn't kick on and ultimately the feeling at the end of the tour was disappointment.

"At the end of this Autumn, if we don't kick on that will be probably the same feeling.

"Ultimately it is about the way we kick on. We can either become a side that does it every now and again or we can become a side that consistently performs and consistently beats the best teams in the world and that's where we want to be.

"It is a big ask and there is a big mental challenge to get over that but that it is where we want to be and get over that mental challenge."

More than just mentally, Trimble expects Australia to pose a huge threat having been impressed by how they have bounced back from their own summer disappointment, a whitewash at the hands of England.

"I think they have come on a long way since then, that is not the side that we will be playing at the weekend," Trimble said.

"It is going to be a big challenge, we are going to have our hands full."

Belfast Telegraph