Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has called on Paddy Jackson to slip into the big boots of injured flyhalf Johnny Sexton in Saturday’s first Test against South Africa at Newlands (kickoff 5pm).
And the New Zealander believes Jackson will fill those boots with ease.
He explains: “Paddy [Jackson] has slotted in really well.
“I think he’s bided his time, he’s been in camp a while and he’s seen Johnny [Sexton] dictating the game – he has been the conductor of the orchestra.
“But I’m confident that Paddy can step up and do a similar job. I think he’s got big boots to fill, but his feet will slide in quite nicely.”
Schmidt’s squad has been disrupted ahead of the first Test with a number of injuries ruling out experienced stars.
And while he knows they have a tough task against the Bokke, Schmidt wants his players to give him something to work with for the rest of the series when they take the field at Newlands.
He explains: “We’re hoping to get something to build on, try and put some things together that will give us confidence going forward.
“You’re never going to be in a situation where everything works, [where a] transition is seamless.”