Johnny Sexton at 36 years of age is playing the some of his best Rugby of his career currently. Just over a year out from the World Cup he looks certain to captain Ireland in Rugby’s big showpiece event. He played the most minutes of any ten in the 2021 Six Nations and yet amazingly Warren Gatland did not select him for the Lions with his injury problems being cited as the main reason. That appears all the more baffling now with the season he is having in green and blue. Sexton scored the third highest points total which was 35 points, Only Marcus Smith (71) for England and Melvyn Jaminet (54) for France scored more than him according to the Six Nations website. However, Sexton slotted the most conversions with 13.
In the Six Nations this year he has outperformed all the out halfs in a Lions context he may not have scored the highest points or penalty goals but that is down to missing both France and Italy games due to injury. Sexton’s number two Joey Carbery started two of those games and to be fair to him he did not put a foot wrong. However, you feel with Johnny’s experience and game smarts Ireland could easily have got over the line in Paris. It was a great learning experience for Carbery and who know he might yet overtake Sexton in time for the World Cup but right now in the present and when fit Johnny is still the number one.
Many supporters including myself and sections of the media thought Sexton would retire after the 2021 Lions Tour but fair play to him he has kept going. In what seemed crazy a couple of years ago could be now a reality in that Ireland will bring a 38 year old out half to the World Cup as there no.1 out half. The naysayers and begrudgers who say that is body would not hold up and he is too old have been silenced for the time being.
Sexton is a driven sports person who wants nothing but perfection and there is nothing wrong with that. Hopefully he continues to prove the doubters wrong.