"He has to be selfish" - BOD on Sexton extending his Ireland career


Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18.17 11 Feb 2019


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Former Ireland captain offers advice to Ireland's number 10

Brian O'Driscoll has explained what Johnny Sexton can do to extend his rugby career, after the Ireland number 10 encountered a bruising battle in Ireland's win over Scotland this weekend.

BOD was in for Monday Night Rugby, explained that Sexton needs to find a "halfway house" between his current physical style, and maintaining the fire that has made him current World Player of the Year.

"It's a very unusual thing for a number 10 of his age to be playing as aggressively as he does, and it is a testament to his bravery to take those shots; to really to go to the last second to create the holes for his teammates," said O'Driscoll.

"He probably could have given that pass [earlier]. He had fixed [Alan Dell] pretty early, but he wanted to make sure he was 100% committed to him. I think he has got to throw that half a second earlier, and take the chance that Stockdale will have enough to get through, and brace himself for the collision.

"He threw the pass and left himself wide open. Scotland obviously had spoken beforehand every time he throws a pass, to smash him afterwards. You couldn't argue with any of them. They were 'committed' but they knew what they were doing - they could have pulled out of them, but why would you?"

BOD reiterated what needs to occur in Sexton's mindset and game preparation if Ireland are to keep hold of their talisman for a longer time.

"From a self-preservation perspective, he doesn't have to get back into the pocket. That's what the older 10s do - get deeper and deeper, ship it on and the centres have to do the hard yards.

"He just has to be a little bit selfish and look after himself by giving it a fraction earlier than he ordinarily would, because he is 33 and because we need him more than ever in the World Cup."

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