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Big 6 Nations game against Wales for Irish lads dropped on Lions Tour - Jonny Sexton

The Ireland outhalf has also targeted another Lions series win, against New Zealand, in 2017.

Jonathan Sexton arrives back in Dublin.
Jonathan Sexton arrives back in Dublin.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

JONATHAN SEXTON WAS the only Irish Lion to start all of the Test matches in the victorious series against Australia.

The outhalf returned home today, landing at Dublin Airport with five of his Irish Lions colleagues, and has some catch-up work to do on seating arrangements and suit fittings before his wedding, to Laura Priestley, on Friday.

Sexton has three weeks off, which includes his honeymoon, before heading off to Paris to begin life with Racing Metro. He is looking forward to the break from rugby but has already targeted some milestone games in the coming years.

He told TheScore.ie, “It was great to be part of the Lions, no matter what happens, but to be part of a winning Test Series is… not many people have done it. That’s what makes it so special.” The next Lions tour will see them face off against the All Blacks in a series the Lions have not won since 1971. Can the Lions tear up the form guide in four years’ time?

“Yeah,” replied Sexton. “We’ve a pretty young squad so hopefully a lot of the same guys will be there as well, if they stay in peak form and keep playing well for their clubs and countries. Already guys are talking about four years time and that would be such a special thing to be part of but I’m looking forward to having a little break then there are big times ahead for me.”

The outhalf is eager to get back into training camp with Ireland, and new coach Joe Schmidt, later this year and he is already targeting the Wales game in the 2014 Six Nations. He believes Irish teammates Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip, who were both dropped before the Third Test, are thinking likewise. Sexton commented:

They’ll be first up in the Six Nations so it’ll be a big match for some of the Irish lads that got left out for all of the Welsh lads.”

Ireland are first up against Scotland in next year’s Six Nations with defending champions Wales travelling to Dublin the following weekend, 8 February.

Sexton chats to the media scrum at Dublin Airport. (©INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Sexton, through the International Rugby Player Association, released a statement on Tuesday stating his desire to have a global rugby season that gave players a proper break but also proper schedules for tours. Richie McCaw of New Zealand backed up the Irishman’s wishes.

The former Leinster outhalf declared, “It’s about getting a better system in place where the players prosper and get better. The details haven’t really been sorted but it’s about trying to get everybody to sit down really. It’s trying to make sure things don’t clash like the Lions and the end of the Top 14 season, for example.”

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Patrick McCarry

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