Jackson to retain starting role
PADDY JACKSON is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up for Saturday's clash against France when the fly-half berth on the Ireland team is confirmed this afternoon.
The Ulsterman came through yesterday's kicking session at the Aviva Stadium unscathed and it is expected he will be named to start on Saturday when assistant coach Gert Smal and team manager Mick Kearney hold a briefing today before the squad depart Carton House for their Shelbourne Hotel base.
Leinster's Ian Madigan will therefore start the game on the bench.
Jackson, Madigan and Fergus McFadden – recalled on the wing to face Les Bleus – all kicked under the supervision of assistant coach Mark Tainton yesterday.
Jonathan Sexton was, apparently, a real contender on Tuesday morning, and had he come through that morning's training session was in with a good chance of being named to start.
During that session, though, it became obvious that there was no chance of his being able to play any part in the game and those plans were hastily scrapped.