Scotland star Jackson wants piece of the action against Fiji

Ruaridh Jackson is desperate to get on the pitch in Fiji. Pic: Fotosport/David Gibson
Ruaridh Jackson is desperate to get on the pitch in Fiji. Pic: Fotosport/David Gibson
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Ruaridh Jackson is determined to make his mark when Scotland play Fiji in Suva on Saturday.

With Finn Russell, the starting stand off in both tour games so far, having left the Scotland camp to join the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand, Jackson feels he has an opportunity to win his first cap for almost 12 months, the last one coming against Japan last summer.

Finn Russell - Lions fly half during his first kicking practice on tour after being called out as a replacement.
British & Irish Lions kicking practice, FMG Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand, Monday 19th June 2017 
***Please credit: Fotosport/David Gibson***

Finn Russell - Lions fly half during his first kicking practice on tour after being called out as a replacement. British & Irish Lions kicking practice, FMG Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand, Monday 19th June 2017 ***Please credit: Fotosport/David Gibson***

“I am desperate to get on the pitch and show what I can do,” he said. “With Finn where I think he deserves to be (with the Lions), it gives me an opportunity.

“If I get that that chance I am desperate to put my hand up. There is a lot of excitement about this squad, about what we can do, what we can achieve.

“We are kicking on from where Vern (Cotter, the former head coach who moved to French club Montpellier last month) left it and we are looking in a good place for the future. It is something you want to be playing in.”

Jackson was named at full-back in the original squad, but most of his 30 caps so far have come at stand off, and that is where he hopes to get his chance on Saturday.

“Ten is where I prefer playing,” he said. “I enjoy full-back as well so if I have to step in there, then I am glad to do so, but stand off is where I want to be and where I feel most comfortable.

“There was a really memorable moment at the weekend, beating Australia in Sydney, but we have another huge game coming up – you can’t rest on the last one, the next game is always the most important.

“Fiji are a dangerous side, and they have a bit of confidence after beating Italy. They have weapons all over the pitch so we will need an 80-minute defensive performance and hope the attack will take care of itself.”

Harlequins’ Jackson is one of the many players in the Scotland side to have played alongside scrum-half Niko Matawalu and lock Leone Nakarawa when they were at Glasgow, so he has some idea of what to expect. Having formed a half-back partnership with Matawalu, Jackson has a particularly good understanding of what to expect from the Fijian playmaker.

“It’s fun and frustrating at the same time,” Jackson said. “Trying to control him and play to a game plan is a bit tricky but when you see some of the things he did in a Glasgow shirt, it is almost unbelievable.

“A couple of times, you just had to watch it back to believe he did actually do what he did.”