Ireland captain Rory Best is confident his team’s fly-half, Paddy Jackson, will give a good account of himself in Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.
With Ireland’s first-choice pivot, Johnny Sexton, injured, there will be pressure on Jackson to control the game at Murrayfield.
But Best has backed his Ulster team-mate to shine in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.
“With Paddy and Johnny (Sexton) we have two really, really good out-halves,” he said.
“It’s Jacko’s chance now to have a go at it.
“He’s played the majority of the Tests in the last 12 months. So he’s ready to perform.”
Best also backed Ireland’s scrum-half, Conor Murray, to do well after Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw said his side will target his counterpart this weekend.
“Conor wants to make sure the pressure that will be on tomorrow, that he rises to it and it spurs him on,” said Best.
“He just wants to perform on the day and rise to the occasion.
“What Scotland will or won’t do, that’s what they’ve been discussing in their team hotel for the last two weeks.
“All we can do is make sure that as a pack of forwards, we create a platform for him.”