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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 18 January, 2019

Johnny Sexton named RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year

He was integral to a record-breaking year for Leinster, as well as Ireland’s unprecedented success – including a Grand Slam and home victory over the All Blacks.

Sexton had perhaps the best year in a wonderful career for club and country in 2018.
Sexton had perhaps the best year in a wonderful career for club and country in 2018.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON HAS been named as RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year after a year which saw him guide Ireland to Grand Slam success and a historic victory over New Zealand.

Rugby enjoyed perhaps its finest year on these shores and Sexton was undoubtedly at the centre of Ireland and Leinster’s successes on the pitch.

Joe Schmidt’s side were peerless in the Six Nations earlier this year and had Sexton to thank after his drop goal in the opening game of the competition against France set the tone for a dominant campaign.

Ireland were able to wrap up the Grand Slam in Twickenham with a comfortable win over England.

Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton celebrate winning Jonathan Sexton (right) and Conor Murray celebrate Ireland's Grand Slam victory at Twickenham. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

He was also key to Leinster’s historic double success in the PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup as Leo Cullen’s side swept all before them on the club scene.

A victory in the summer tour of Australia came next for Schmidt’s side, but it was victory over New Zealand in the Guinness November Series that was the stand-out success this calendar year.

For the first time in history, Ireland beat the All Blacks on home soil to make history and round off an almost flawless year for Irish rugby.

Johnny Sexton with Ryan Crotty and Kieran Read Sexton was key to Ireland's victory over New Zealand in Dublin last month. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

On an individual level, Sexton’s achievements were honoured as he was named World Rugby’s Player of the Year – the first Irishman to win it since Keith Wood in 2001.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Eddie O’Sullivan preview another big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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