Ulster have named Paddy Jackson at fly-half for this afternoon's Heineken Cup semi-final against Edinburgh (+6 Match Handicap). Ireland Under-20 captain Jackson produced an impressive kicking display when named at centre for the recent Pro12 game against Connacht and then performed well at number 10 against Leinster.
Ulster (-6 Match Handicap) coach McLaughlin said It's a very tough call on Ian Humphreys who has been exceptional for us over the past couple of seasons but we felt Paddy deserved a shot. We performed well as underdogs against Munster and now we are happy to be favourites - we mustn't let this opportunity slip away.
Their opponents Edinburgh's form in Europe, in which they have beaten the likes of Racing Metro and Toulouse, is in stark contrast to their Pro12 form, where they have picked up just 5 wins from 21 outings. Mclaughlin, however is not underestimating them despite their poor form and the fact that Ulster (7/2 to win the Heineken Cup)have registered to wins over them this season in the Pro12 league.
He added "We performed well as underdogs against Munster and now we are happy to be favourites - we mustn't let this opportunity slip away. Having said that, Edinburgh had a great win over Toulouse, one of the fancied teams, and they also won away in France, against Racing Metro, which is something we haven't done."