Six Nations 2013: Scotland’s Johnson taking Jackson threat seriously
Six Nations 2013: Scotland head coach Scott Johnson says he won't underestimating Ireland's Paddy Jackson in Sunday's clash
Scotland coach Scott Johnson insists he won’t be taking Ireland’s Paddy Jackson lightly after the uncapped fly-half was given the nod to start ahead of stalwart Ronan O’Gara at Murrayfield.
Declan Kidney surprised many by naming Ulster’s Jackson in the Ireland No10 for Sunday’s clash, choosing him ahead of the men in green’s all-time highest points scorer and most capped player.
The change comes with O’Gara coming in for some criticism after coming off the bench for an injured Jonathan Sexton in the 12-6 defeat by England, as well as misiring while on club duty as Munster fell to Scarlets last time out.
Jackson will be making his debut as he lines up against Scotland, as will the man in the No12 shirt – Ulster team-mate Luke Marshall.
But interim Scotland coach Jackson admits the threat the new duo, who both played in Ireland’s non-capped win over Fiji, possess is still a very real one.
“Paddy Jackson is a good player. When you lose a player, everyone is probably not as closely aware of the skill-sets of the players to replace them,” said Johnson.
“Paddy has done good at provincial level; he’s a threat. He’s a good player. So, in two or three years’ time, we may be talking about Paddy Jackson being a quality player in world rugby, but at the moment nobody knows who he is really.
“But we are sure that he’s a threat and we are sure that we’ll be paying him due courtesy to make sure he doesn’t hurt us too much.
“Us coaches see them every week and know that these so-called lesser-known names are quality players.”