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Rugby Union

Ireland confirm Sexton as new skipper

15th January 2020, 18:43 by Aidan Perkins

Johnny Sexton admits it will be the "biggest honour" of his career to lead Ireland in the Six Nations after being named captain.

The fly-half steps into the role full-time after former skipper Rory Best retired following last year's World Cup.

Sexton did skipper the Irish in the World Cup pool victory over Russia but the 34-year-old will now get the chance to lead his country in the upcoming Six Nations tournament.

Sexton, who is currently recovering from a knee injury and should be fit for the Six Nations opener against Scotland in Dublin on February 1, was delighted to be named the new skipper.

He said: "First of all it's a massive honour to be asked to do it. I obviously got a taste for it during the World Cup for that one game and I've done it in patches with Ireland in-game when either Rory or Pete (O'Mahony) have gone off.

"It's something that I enjoy but ultimately it's a huge honour, the biggest honour of my career to be asked to do it and I'm really looking forward to it and looking forward to the challenges that are coming up.

"Hopefully we can have a successful Six Nations."

Ireland's new head coach Andy Farrell expects Sexton to be able to handle the captaincy role comfortably. He said: "You can see what it means to him and the enthusiasm he will bring to the role.

"He has been developing as a leader for a number of years with Ireland, Leinster and the Lions - and he will be a positive voice for the group."

Ireland have named their initial squad for the Six Nations, which includes five potential Test debutants in the shape of Leinster trio Ronan Kelleher, Caelan Doris and Max Deegan and Ulster pair Billy Burns and Tom O'Toole.

Leinster lock Devin Toner is back in the fold but Munster fly-half Joey Carbery has been left out due to a wrist injury.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

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