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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020

While some guys relax on their week off, Ireland's most important player takes on Clermont

Johnny Sexton will be fending off cleaving tackles from the likes of Fritz Lee on Saturday.

Sexton is in line to start for Racing Metro this weekend.
Sexton is in line to start for Racing Metro this weekend.
Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

IDEALLY WHEN THE Six Nations goes away for a week players can get a chance to recover from the physical battering of the first two rounds and while that’s the case for most Irish players, one in particular has another bruising encounter on the horizon.

Since last weekend’s win against France was Johnny Sexton’s first outing since last November he is keen to get game time so will line out for Racing this weekend. However the Irish coaching staff would surely prefer the out-half returned to club duty against somebody other than the ultra-physical Clermont.

Sexton has been named in Racing’s squad for Saturday’s game so either he or Johan Goosen will start at ten but either way Ireland’s playmaker is certain to see the field.

While ordinarily Sexton getting more playing time wouldn’t be a big issue, the nature of his head injury means people are naturally apprehensive about him playing another game before England visit the Aviva.

Sexton took another hit to the head last Saturday after a Mathieu Bastareaud charge but was cleared by the medical staff to return to the pitch thereafter.

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