'Gutted' Jackson reveals his frustration at Joe Schmidt selection
Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30
Ulster out-half Paddy Jackson has revealed his "frustration" at his latest period of international exile.
But he has also expressed his desire to grab the next chance that comes his way as he seeks to elbow his way into Joe Schmidt's Twickenham plans after being used for only 20 minutes during the recent World Cup.
Jonathan Sexton has failed to finish either Six Nations game as Ireland opened their hat-trick title tilt by taking just one point from a possible four.
Ian Madigan continues to be Schmidt's preferred back-up option as the Leinster man provides flexibility but the Kiwi's patience may have worn thin after another error from the player as Ireland chased down victory in Paris last weekend.
"It's been very frustrating," Jackson admitted. "I thought I'd possibly done enough to get into that match-day squad but it wasn't meant to be.
"I felt almost, missing out on the World Cup, I felt like I was back in that same position again.
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"Initially I was gutted and really frustrated but then I kind of shook it off and decided I had to keep the head down.
"All I can affect now is how I play at Ulster and that's what I'm going to focus on when I'm here. If I get the chance with Ireland in the next few weeks I'll be delighted, and I'll make sure I take it.
"I just keep telling myself I've worked really hard since the World Cup to get to where I am now so I'm not going to let this stop me."
Jackson served as Sexton's understudy in 2014 only to be ousted from the panel for the Championship clincher against France in Paris.
Then, as Ireland planned for the opening encounter against Italy last term without Sexton, an elbow injury allowed Ian Keatley to step in.
Meanwhile, the IRFU confirmed that Jared Payne has, as expected, signed on with Ulster until 2018.