Payne watching Ireland with interest

Ulster's Jared Payne, who will be Irish-qualified from the autumn of this year, says he has been watching Ireland's Six Nations games with interest.

The versatile Payne has been tipped as a possible replacement for Brian O'Driscoll in the Ireland number 13 shirt after the Irish legend calls time on his distinguished career at the end of this season.

Payne has been in impressive form at both full-back and centre for Ulster this season and is expected to play for the Irish province against Treviso in Sunday's Pro12 game in Italy.

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