Paddy Jackson sets his sights on "more exposure at international level"

Ulster out-half also speaks about how inspirational Munster have been at a difficult time

Paddy Jackson sets his sights on "more exposure at international level"

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Paddy Jackson is targeting increased international exposure as Ireland prepare to reconvene for tests against New Zealand.

The Ireland out-half got a run of games in the summer tour to South Africa by starting all three matches including the opening win when he scored 15 points.

However, with Leinster's Jonathan Sexton back in action and other challengers, there are no guarantees for the Ulster man.

"I've just been keeping my head down at Ulster and trying to get my minutes in there and hopefully been able to show what I can do. I think in stages, I've done that," he told Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre.

"I've been waiting for a chance to get a few games back-to-back in the green jersey for a while and I was fortunate enough to get that chance in South Africa, so I really enjoyed it. I'm a firm believer in getting exposure at that kind of level and experience. I've slowly been building my experience at club level and in the league and in Europe. Now I''m hopefully going to be getting a bit more exposure at international level. I'm just excited about trying to develop as a player and my ability as an international player, so that's what I have my sights set on."  

Ulster had been in Champions Cup action against Bordeaux Begles (a 28-13 defeat in France) on the Sunday that Anthony Foley's untimely passing was announced. 

Ulster face Munster next and Jackson says the way they came out to take on Glasgow a week after suffering the tragic loss of their head coach was inspiring for his own province.

"It puts things into perspective quite a bit. I think we all came off the pitch [against Bordeaux] and we were all hurting pretty bad from being in a great position to win the game to being pretty far behind in terms of the scoreboard. We messed up in the last 10 minutes which left us hurting after the game," he said.

"But then when you hear something that's happened with Anthony Foley, it makes you realise that there's a lot more to life than just winning or losing a rugby game.

"There's obviously a huge amount of talk around it, not just in the rugby world, but all over the world. People have been affected by it and heard about it, especially the Munster guys. You just saw the way that they came out against Glasgow at the weekend. It was amazing to watch. It was a few hours before our game and I was at home watching it. To be honest, it was pretty inspiring for us as well, going into a big European game. It's a huge loss and when the Munster guys come up to play us at the weekend, I'm sure the emotions will still be high but the respect's there and we'll hopefully put on a good game for everyone."