Brian O'Driscoll backs Paddy Jackson to shine

Ulster player Paddy Jackson during a game on December 7, 2012
© PA Photos
Brian O'Driscoll believes that Paddy Jackson will rise to the occasion when Ireland face Scotland in the Six Nations on Sunday.

Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll has hinted that Paddy Jackson will rise to the challenge of facing Scotland.

The Ulster fly-half has been named in the team for the Six Nations clash at Murrayfield ahead of Ronan O'Gara, replacing the injured Jonathan Sexton.

There have been doubts cast over Jackson's inclusion following his display in last year's Heineken Cup Final, but O'Driscoll believes that the 21-year-old will perform on Sunday.

"I heard Paddy talking about the learning curve from the Heineken Cup final," Sky Sports News quotes O'Driscoll as saying. "In fact, I think some of the stuff written about him in that game was very harsh. He really didn't have that off a game.

"There were a couple of skewed kicks, but that was the extent of it. He did the fundamental things like tackling well. He passes the ball nicely and takes it to the line.

"That was eight months ago and you've seen his performances throughout the year. It certainly hasn't affected him in any way, shape or form and he deserves his opportunity."

Ireland were defeated 6-12 by England in their last Six Nations outing on February 10.

Ulster player Paddy Jackson during a game on December 7, 2012
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