Bernard Jackman believes Bundee Aki's starting role against Scotland is a sign that Andy Farrell's side will utilise the "power game" in their Six Nations opener.

There is intrigue about how the team will develop in the post-Joe Schmidt era, especially when it comes to attack.

But for Saturday's game against Scotland, former Leinster and Ireland hooker Jackman thinks the Irish side will go with the approach that served them well in the Rugby World Cup opener against the same opposition.

"I think Ireland will try and evolve their game-plan and play with a little bit more width and play with the backs a lot more," he said on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

"But I think that will be more evolution than revolution.

"I think tomorrow, and looking at Scotland's weaknesses, we bullied them up front in the World Cup only a few months ago.

"Historically, that's the way we've played against them and that's their Achilles heel. 

"So I think Bundee Aki being picked, for example, over Robbie Henshaw is a sign that it's the power game.

Andrew Conway, centre, with head coach Andy Farrell, left, and Conor Murray 

"And I think that will be the roadmap to winning tomorrow.

"But I think eventually you'll see Ireland trying to play a different style of rugby and Mike Catt will have a huge influence on that. But it will take time."

Part of the expectation for Farrell in his new role is that he may instigate a more radical shift in style of play.

But Jackman feels any changes the former defence coach makes in the first 12 months will evolve at a more sedate pace.

"I think he's trying to play it down to be honest," he said.

"I think he probably has a bit of a freebie for the first season to let him have a look at players.

"But having said that, the Six Nations is a huge tournament. If you have bad results in that, the spotlight is huge.

"But I think our draw has been very friendly to us, having those three home games and having Scotland first up should be a game where we can get off to a start with a win."

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Follow Ireland v Scotland (kick-off 4.45pm) on Saturday via our live blog on and the News Now app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head, Monday at 8pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.