Declan Kidney has shown a daring streak which has so often been missing during his Ireland reign by handing Paddy Jackson his debut against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.
The 21-year-old was the surprise inclusion in Kidney's starting XV for their must-win clash, opting to start the Ulster fly-half ahead of the nation's all-time record points scorer and most-capped player, Ronan O'Gara.
The Munster veteran replaced Jonathan Sexton in the 12-6 defeat by England but struggled with his kicking game while being swallowed up by opponents on a number of occasions, also enduring a tough club game at the weekend.
The 35-year-old could only managed to strike one penalty from four attempts for the Limerick side, salvaging some pride with a late conversion after wing Denis Hurley's try in the closing moments of the PRO12 clash against Scarlets.
The Ireland head coach, who has come under increasing pressure following a turbulent 12 months and a confidence-sapping loss to the Red Rose, now appears to be turning to young Ulster talent in a bid to rejuvenate his side, with his confidence in O'Gara's form rocked by the out-half's England and Scarlets performances.
With Scotland set to target the No10 channel after England's success against O'Gara, Kidney's move is defensive, with Jackson more than capable of coping with the physical demands of the position despite his relative small stature.
The rookie fly-half, who is 14 years younger than O'Gara, has already amassed experience at club level since breaking into the side in February 2011, with his biggest match last year's Heineken Cup final.
Ulster suffered a 42-14 loss to Leinster at Twickenham in May, and Jackson struggled to produce the form which he is capable of in the European showpiece against one of the greatest Heineken Cup sides.
Jackson did feature in Ireland XV's 53-0 victory over Fiji last autumn, scoring 13 points at Thomond Park in a promising display alongside his Ulster team-mates Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall, both of whom will also start against Scotland.
And bearing in mind O'Gara's current form, his omission isn't a complete shock. But Kidney has been forced to play something of a wildcard by placing his faith in an uncapped youngster for the Murrayfield clash - and if it backfires - the head coach can only blame himself.
If the Ireland supremo had been prudent, the likes of Jackson and Luke Marshall would have been blooded in 2012 after a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign, especially with O'Gara deep into the twilight of his career.
Frustratingly, Kidney failed to nurture a capable young understudy for Sexton before the start of the Six Nations and has now been forced to do in the middle of the championship - with their title hopes in the balance.