Ireland boss Andy Farrell believes Jacob Stockdale can light up Ireland’s attack from fullback in their clash against Italy on Saturday.
Stockdale has been featuring in the role for Ulster throughout the season but will start in the position on Saturday for Ireland following a season-ending injury to Jordan Larmour as well as the international retirement of long-term stalwart Rob Kearney.
“We’ve had quite a few sessions under our belt now so we have looked at different combinations and we’ve been very impressed with Jacob. He is learning the trade pretty quickly in the back field,” he said.
“He is learning to adapt and get stronger there. We think he has all the attributes to push forward in that position and there will be elements of his game we need to keep pushing forward.
“What you don’t see on the wing with Jacob, from time to time, is his skill level. He has got great vision, he is able to see things and he has great hands as well.
“He hits a brilliant line and you don’t always get to do that from the wing. Hopefully we can get him involved as much as we can and also it’s a great option to have that left boot at the back.”