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Sunday 19 November 2017

'Having the 10 jersey is everything to me' says Jackson

Paddy Jackson. Pic: Sportsfile
Paddy Jackson. Pic: Sportsfile

The 'personal reasons' cited for Paddy Jackson missing out on the first week of Ireland's summer tour surrounded a potentially life-changing allegation of sex offences.

In reaction, Jackson and fellow Ireland international Stuart Olding have instigated proceedings to sue the BBC over their media coverage of the issue.

Subsequent to the alleged incident, Jackson and Olding were arrested, interviewed and released without charge last June.

They have been consistent in strenuously denying any wrongdoing and their lawyers have been keen to reveal how they have given complete co-operation to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

It must have come as a relief for the Ireland out-half to make his way to Japan to get away from a stressful situation.

At least, that is the way it appeared in the first test against Japan in which Jackson was immaculate from placed balls and not too shabby in his general play.

At present, it is probably safe to say the Ulsterman feels most at ease out on the field of play.

"I've been around for a while," said the 25 year-old.

"I still feel like I'm one of the young guys but it is getting to that stage where I'm tipping on the other side of things.

"I feel I know how things run, what Joe expects from us. I can try and pass that on to the younger guys coming in.

"I want to stay playing at this level for as long as I can. Having the ten jersey, it means everything to me," he said.

Jackson will wear it for the second time in seven days on Saturday as Ireland look to dominate Japan.

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