Six Nations

Best moves to dampen fears over Sexton fitness

2018-02-23 15:43
Johnny Sexton (Getty Images)

Dublin - Fears over the fitness of Ireland's star flyhalf Johnny Sexton ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales have been allayed by Irish skipper Rory Best.

The 32-year-old playmaker had been having treatment on his lower back and belatedly joined their final training session on Friday.

However, he showed little sign of injury in kicking at goal in the session at Lansdowne Road.

Sexton has been in sublime form in the Six Nations, his drop goal in added time in Paris sealing a thrilling victory in their opening match and he orchestrated a whopping 56-19 win over Italy last time out.

"He (Sexton) was grand, it's just that he's just getting a bit older, so he needed a bit longer to warm up," Best said at his eve of match press conference.

"But he came in to the tail-end of the session.

"He let the subs run at the start and then the starters finished off. No concerns."

The Irish can ill afford to lose a player of Sexton's quality having already been short of three other British and Irish Lions in centre Robbie Henshaw, prop Tadgh Furlong and lock Iain Henderson.

Teams

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney; 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale; 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Peter O'Mahony; 5 Devin Toner, 4 James Ryan; 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 John Ryan, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden

Wales

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 George North

Read more on:    ireland  |  wales  |  six nations  |  johnny sexton  |  rory best  |  rugby
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