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'Johnny Sexton will be 100% fit to face the All Blacks' - Leinster coach Lancaster

The out-half only played 40 minutes of Leinster’s loss to Montpellier and had taken a back seat on goal-kicking.

Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

LEINSTER SENIOR COACH Stuart Lancaster says that Jonathan Sexton will be fit for Ireland’s first November Test against New Zealand in Chicago.

Having missed Leinster’s Champions Cup opener against Castres with a hamstring issue, the out-half played just 40 minutes of Sunday’s defeat to Montpellier and deferred kicking responsibility to Isa Nacewa during that time.

“Johnny Sexton will be 100% right to play the All Blacks,” Lancaster said when asked to put a percentage of the fitness of his number 10 and Sean O’Brien at Leinster’s UCD training base today.

Sexton is one of seven men listed who Leinster hope to see fit and ready to play by the end of the week. However, it would be understandable if he were held back with such a seismic clash against New Zealand just seven days away.

O’Brien, Mick Kearney, Richardt Strauss are all definitively “available for selection” against Connacht, while Tadhg Furlong (hamstring) and Rhys Ruddock (calf) will be assessed again later this week.

The news is much worse for out-half Cathal Marsh who tore a tendon in his hand on B&I Cup duty and will go under the knife on the issue this week.

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Sean Farrell

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