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Jared Payne's final chance to prove Six Nations appeal

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Jared Payne will have one last chance against Treviso tonight (7.35pm kick-off) to show Ireland coach Joe Schmidt he is ready to make an impact in the Six Nations.

The versatile back, who would give the national side an option at either full-back or centre for next week's game with Wales, missed three months with a kidney problem and had to sit out the opening three rounds of the Championship.

Having made his comeback off the bench for Ulster against Zebre last Sunday, the naturalised Kiwi was yesterday named in a 37-man Ireland squad for the final two games of the Six Nations.

And with Schmidt sure to be watching on, he will be in the 13 jersey at Kingspan tonight.

With Ulster needing bonus points to maintain their play-off push, the 31-year-old is calling for patience as Les Kiss' men get set to launch a try chase.

"If we win it's good, and if we get a bonus point it's even better," he said.

"If we worry about the areas we need to improve week in week out, the scores will just come.

"We just have to keep working each week and not get too far ahead of ourselves."

Payne is one of seven Ulstermen who will be summoned to Ireland's training base at Carton House after the weekend's PRO12 action.

Captain Rory Best, out-half Paddy Jackson and lock Iain Henderson are already preparing for the crucial battle with Wales while Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy will also be involved against Treviso tonight before switching their attention to the national side.

Belfast Telegraph


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