Johnny Sexton: Ireland captain waiting until after Six Nations to decide on future ahead of 100th game

Johnny Sexton will make a decision after the 2022 Six Nations about whether to play in the next World Cup, as he prepares to win his 100th cap against Japan on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Leinster fly-half is out of contract with his province and country at the end of the season but is keen to continue.

Ireland captain Sexton has spoken about using the autumn internationals to prepare for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France as well and is feeling in a good place ahead of the Autumn Nations Series clash with Japan.

“At the moment I’m loving it,” Sexton said. “I love the training, my body is good, my mind is good and, in an ideal world, I would love to keep going.

“What I learned last year is that you can’t plan too far ahead. I’m taking it game by game, campaign by campaign.

“The IRFU have been very good to me over the last seven years since I came back from Paris. We made a decision at the end of the Six Nations last year and I don’t think it will be any different this year. Let’s wait until the end of that and see how we all are.”

Sexton made his Ireland debut in 2009 against Fiji and would have reached his milestone against England earlier this year but for missing the France game through injury.

However, that disappointment is offset by the fact he will bring up a century of appearances for his country in front of a passionate crowd at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

“I had to wait a long time for my first cap – and I’d have been happy to get the one,” Sexton said. “Never in a million years did I think I’d still be playing.

“But over the last few years I’ve just taken it year on year. I was gutted to miss the French game last year because I knew that, if I’d kept fit and kept my form, that I would have played my 100th against England.

“But everything happens for a reason and hopefully getting your 100th cap in front of some people will be more than special. I’m trying to focus on the game, though, I don’t want to get drawn away from how important the game is.”


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