Paddy Jackson: Seeking success with and for Perpignan

Paddy Jackson in action for Ireland
Paddy Jackson in action for Ireland

Paddy Jackson has told a French Newspaper he wants to help his new club, Perpignan continue to evolve but also get back to his best form in the process.

The former Ireland and Ulster outhalf is looking to resume his career with the French side after his IRFU contract - along with team mate Stuart Olding - was revoked at the conclusion of a nine-week rape trial in April when he was found not guilty.

Jackson, a Schools’ Cup winner with Methodist College, joined the Top 14 side on a two-year deal.

He told French paper L’Equipe he is keen to find his best level as soon as possbile after he had his first training session with the club this week.

“I may be a little rusty but not too much,” acknowledged Jackson.

“I will learn the culture of the team, I will recover ground and that’s good.

“I really want to discover the Top14, that’s also a big challenge because there are many great players, many different styles of rugby and I love learning things quickly.”

Perpignan are back in the Top14 after four seasons when they were promoted from PROD2 with a win over Grenoble.

The 26-year-old Jackson is a high-profile signing for the club close to the Spanish border in the South East of France.

Jackson went on: “The coaches and even the players really made me understand their will to continue evolving and progressing.

“And I really want to help them do that. I want to contribute to making Perpignan a strong team of the Top14.”

He also revealed he was searching for a new home near the club and will improve his French by attending classes.

Meanwhile, IRFU performance director David Nucifora has said both Jackson and Olding - who has joined French club Brive - could return to play for Ireland in the future.

“Who knows what could happen or what will happen?” Nucifora told reporters in Sydney. “I don’t think anything is ever forever.”

Both would have to be playing for Irish clubs to be considered however.