Six Nations: Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has no concerns over Johnny Sexton’s age after win over Wales | Rugby Union News
Johnny Sexton, 37, scored 12 points as Ireland started the Six Nations 34-10 against Wales; Sexton should be fit to face France in Dublin on Saturday; Head coach Andy Farrell says Ireland’s ‘best fans in the world’ will support their team against the defending champions
Last update: 02/23/06 09:48
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has said he has no concerns over Johnny Sexton’s age after the 37-year-old returned to action from injury.
Fly-half Sexton said he had never been so nervous before a game before Saturday’s 34-10 win over Wales in the Six Nations, which was just his second game in three months.
The Leinster full-back netted 12 points in Cardiff as Ireland started their campaign in style, with the team’s next game at home to defending Six Nations champions France on Saturday.
Sexton should be fit for this match in Dublin despite having left the pitch against Wales with nine minutes to go with a broken leg.
Sexton admitted to being very nervous ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales
Farrell said of Sexton: “There’s no questioning his age in our minds.
“I have told him constantly over the past two weeks that there is no excuse and that he needs to be at his best. He cares so much about his rugby and does such a good job for his team.
“We are trying to get him to a point where he will be at his best even though he hasn’t played for so long.
“How he handles that, how he leads a team, makes the team feel good, and then comes out and plays at the same time.
“His goal kick was excellent (Saturday) and that speaks to his character.”
Farrell: Irish fans are the ‘best in the world’ at supporting their team
France – who came through a scare to beat Italy 29-24 in their Six Nations opener in Rome on Sunday – are the only major nation Farrell has yet to beat during his tenure, Ireland having lost three successive meetings of the Six Nations with the team of Fabien Galthié. .
Farrell said: “I think everyone realizes what’s to come next week. We know how exceptional France are and the challenges they’re going to bring.
“There’s one thing about an Irish crowd – when there’s a big game and they know they have to support the team, they’re the best in the world. There’s no doubt about that.”
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said he was delighted with Ireland’s winning start to the Six Nations against Wales.
Speaking shortly after the win over Wales, Farrell said: “I’m delighted to be off to a good start because, as we all know, this is a really tough place to start the campaign. Our story says exactly that.
“But our preparation was great and we got what we deserved. At the same time, there’s a lot to do, fix and improve. It’s not a bad place.”
Ireland make perfect start to Six Nations
Ireland got off to a perfect start to their 2023 Six Nations campaign, securing a first Championship win over Wales in Cardiff since 2013, earning a 34-10 win with a bonus point to spoil Warren’s comeback gatland.
Ireland, despite missing key duo Robbie Henshaw (wrist) and Tadhg Furlong (calf) through injury, and losing scrum-half Jamison Gibson Park and substitute free header Cian Healy on the day of the test due to hamstring injuries, flew out of the traps under a closed roof at the Principality Stadium and did not look back from there.
Wales saved points through a penalty from Dan Biggar and a converted try from Liam Williams, but they also lost Williams to sin-binning and were firmly second, leaving Gatland and co with plenty to do .
Follow text updates from Ireland v France (2.15pm start) on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app on Saturday.