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Paddy Jackson wants fans to crank up volume for Ulster play-off push

By Jonathan Bradley

Paddy Jackson has won Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Player of the Month for a second time with the out-half hoping it's not the only silverware he gets his hands on this season.

The 24-year-old has been instrumental all year and is looking to help the province take a giant stride towards the PRO12 play-offs on Saturday when Leinster visit the Kingspan Stadium.

"It's lovely to be nominated for the award and then to win it a couple times is great," he said. "I'm just grateful the fans think that I'm worthy of it."

Jackson is sure the same fans will be in fine voice this weekend and is eagerly anticipating a game that will have a huge bearing on the campaign.

"We have nearly sold out crowds every week and it's definitely special playing in front of these fans," he said.

"They'll be as up for it as we are and the place will be pumping. For us, we have to win (every game) and in that sense it's cup rugby.

"We're all on the same page. Not having a game last week has given us a good build-up.

"We would have rather been in Europe, but it's given us that added drive."

Any success Ulster do have this year will likely be based around the string-pulling of Jackson in the No.10 jersey but it's not only his ability with ball in hand that has been important this season.

Having captained the side twice since the turn of the year, the young fly-half has been an increasingly prominent leader for Les Kiss but says it's all part of the job.

He said: "There's a lot of responsibility on a 10 anyway but with Rory Best away, and then Rob Herring out for a few games too, I've had to take a bit more on. It was a great experience."

Jackson says the talent at the disposal of Kiss in the outside backs is a dream scenario.

He added: "It's brilliant having guys giving you so many options when you're on the ball. My job is to get them the ball and let them work away and they've been doing well."

Belfast Telegraph


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