‘There’s still a championship there for us’ – Jackson eyes Italian job after Scottish defeat

JOE SCHMIDT’S VIDEO review session will, no doubt, make for tough viewing this week in Carton House.

But the Irish players will be focused on making this week a productive one as they attempt to get their Six Nations campaign back on track in Rome.

“I think naturally we’ll all be down for the next couple of days,” admitted Paddy Jackson after defeat to Scotland in Edinburgh, “and once we get into camp we’ll have to review the game. Then it’s back to normal.

“We’ve got to focus on Italy – there’s still a championship there for us. Italy is a huge focus for us, we’ve been in positions like this before, where we know how to bounce back.

“We’re a tight group, it was a good, close game today, but I think we all know what the point of difference today was, and it was our mistakes. We’ll get back on the horse.”

Senior figures within the group will have a big role in steering any turnaround but each player in Joe Schmidt’s squad will take personal responsibility ahead of the trip to Rome.

“They’ll have a huge part to play,” Jackson says of the likes of Jamie Heaslip and captain, Rory Best. “At this level, it’s something we drive that ‘you have to lead yourself’, it’s the same out on the pitch, it’s something we spoke about, you’re out there, you got to control your own thoughts, give energy, give enthusiasm to the guys around you.

“It’s something you have to lead yourself, but you have the experience of the likes of Rory, Jamie, Earlsy has been speaking up a lot this week – and getting the boys going.”

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The travelling contingent’s meticulous preparations were, of course, disrupted due to Edinburgh traffic.

But the Ulster out half insisted Ireland’s late arrival at Murrayfield had little bearing on the result.

“It meant I had to rush out a bit to get kicking but no, we’re all big enough and old enough to not let that get to us,” he said.

“We rushed our prep before the warm-up a bit but I wouldn’t say it had much to do with the game.”

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