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Ireland skipper Sexton fit for Wales game after return to full training

The 35-year-old has recovered from a hamstring issue.

Sexton celebrates a try for Ireland last year.
Sexton celebrates a try for Ireland last year.

IRELAND CAPTAIN JOHNNY Sexton returned to full training with Andy Farrell’s squad today and has declared himself fit and available for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff.

The 35-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in Leinster’s win over Munster two weekends ago but has recovered in time to feature in Ireland’s opening game of the championship.

“I trained fully today with the group, thankfully, and got through that ok so all available for selection,” said Sexton this afternoon.

“The group trained well today, the lads had a good hit-out at the weekend [in a training session against Ulster] and we’re looking forward to this weekend.

“It only feels like yesterday since we were finishing up the Autumn Nations Cup and a disappointing end to the last Six Nations campaign for us. In many ways, it has been good – we’ve hit the ground running, it doesn’t feel like we’ve gone backwards. We’ve taken up where we left off in the last campaign, which is great.”

Ireland’s most recent Six Nations win in Cardiff came back in 2013 and Sexton said he and his team-mates won’t get caught looking any further down the line in this championship as they aim to end this losing streak in Wales.

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“It’s a tough place to go,” said Sexton. “All Welsh teams are tough to play against at all times but especially in Cardiff. There’s not many teams that go there and get a win, we haven’t done it in a long time.

“The last time we won it, the first game we ended up having an injury crisis and we came second last so it wasn’t a great campaign even though we got it off to a good start, so hopefully we can start this weekend in the same fashion and then keep things going.

“We honestly haven’t spoken a day past Sunday or thought of a day past Sunday. Everything has been geared up towards this Wales game and we know how important it is to build a bit of momentum in this tournament.

“The way we can start that is by putting out a good performance, first and foremost, and hoping the result takes care of itself if we can play really, really well. We’re going to have to if we want to beat a Welsh team away from home.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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