Paul O'Connell's Stade hammer Paddy Jackson's Perpignan in Top 14 opener

Paul O'Connell's Stade hammer Paddy Jackson's Perpignan in Top 14 opener

Paddy Jackson made his Top14 debut this afternoon but his Perpignan side were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat by Stade Francais.

Perpignan are back in the Top14 having been promoted after their first ever relegation four seasons ago.

The ex-Ulster out-half scored a try but his side fell to a 46-15 home defeat.

Former Ireland captain Paul O'Connell was also making his debut in French rugby, having been announced as the new Stade forwards coach earlier this month.

O'Connell has been backed to be a success as a coach by his former teammate and current Crusaders coach Ronan O'Gara.

The Munster legend said that O'Connell "wants to see is he smitten with coaching.

"It’s eating away at him and he wants to experience it full-time."

O'Gara is of the belief that the French club are lucky to have O'Connell in their backroom team.

"You’re talking about a forward who has an incredible knowledge of all aspects of the game. People associate the ‘fear of God’ with Paulie but that is a complete misconception.

Paul O'Connell's Stade hammer Paddy Jackson's Perpignan in Top 14 opener

"The guy is highly-intelligent and highly-driven and great craic, which is important too, because if you wanted to go coaching with him you’d want to enjoy his company."

Later today, another Irishman is set to make his Top14 debut.

Simon Zebo is in line to start for Racing 92 - O'Gara's former side - when they take on Toulon.

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