Six Nations: Paddy Jackson handed fly-half role for Ireland

France travel to Dublin this weekend

Ireland have full confidence that Paddy Jackson will prove his mixed Test debut was only an aberration after entrusting their young Ulster fly-half with the kicking duties against France.

Jackson has been selected in the number 10 jersey for the RBS 6 Nations clash at the Aviva Stadium after passing a fitness test on the hamstring strain suffered during training on Monday.

Uncapped Leinster playmaker Ian Madigan will provide cover from a bench that includes Munster prop Stephen Archer, who fills the third and final slot left blank during Tuesday's team announcement.

Jackson's first cap was a mixture of good and bad as his promising touches in open play contrasted with a poor afternoon from the kicking tee that enabled Scotland to triumph 12-6.

The 21-year-old's nerves have since been settled after finishing with a 19-point haul, completing seven of nine shots at goal, while on Ulster duty last weekend.

Combined with his output in training over the last two days, that has been enough to win the vote of coach Declan Kidney with wing Fergus McFadden ready to take over should he misfire once again.

"Fergus is an option and that's why he went to the Aviva yesterday to practice. He's been very successful as a place kicker with Leinster," team manager Mick Kearney said.

"But Paddy is first choice and we have every confidence that he will perform in all facets of his game, including place kicking.

"If Ian comes on then we have full confidence in him as well. If Ian comes on he'll be place kicking as well."

Jackson was viewed as a minor doubt for Saturday's showdown between the two biggest flops of this year's Six Nations due to his hamstring complaint, but the injury has recovered quickly.

His availability means that Ireland enter a match they must win to avoid a wooden spoon decider against Italy with two fly-halves who have one cap between them.

"Paddy kicked in the Aviva Stadium yesterday and kicked well and trained fully this morning," Kearney said.

"Paddy's hamstring first tightened up after Monday's session so there was a bit of concern about him.

"He sat out the session on Tuesday, received treatment and did some light running in the afternoon.

"He then came through kicking at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon very well, so that clarified things for us, but up until then there was some small doubt.

"There was no discomfort this morning so he'll be fine."

McFadden joined Jackson and Madigan during kicking practice at the Aviva Stadium with the management mindful that on Saturday he may be called upon to perform the role.

The 26-year-old, who has replaced groin-injury victim Craig Gilroy on the right wing, has been forced to wait patiently to win his 17th cap and is eager to prove to Kidney that he has been underused.

"It's a long championship and I knew that I just needed to bide my time," said McFadden, who won his last cap against Argentina in the autumn.

"Now my chance has come in a big game and I need to show that maybe I should have been there from the start.

"I like to think that I bring a bit more to the equation that place kicking. Paddy is the first choice kicker and we have full confidence in him.

"If I'm called upon to kick I'm more than confident to do it, but as it stands Paddy is kicking and the team is very confident about that."

Ireland team to face France at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday March 9 (kick-off 5pm):

R Kearney (Leinster); F McFadden (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), L Marshall (Ulster), K Earls (Munster); P Jackson (Ulster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), S Archer (Munster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), I Henderson (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), I Madigan (Leinster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster).

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence