JOHNNY SEXTON HAS committed his future to Ireland and Leinster after the out-half — recently named World Rugby Player of the Year — agreed terms on a new deal with the IRFU until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The IRFU’s decision to secure the 33-year-old’s services for another two years further underlines his enduring worth to both club and country, having played a pivotal role in Ireland’s remarkable year of success under Joe Schmidt.
Sexton guided Ireland to Grand Slam glory in 2018. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Sexton was out of contract at the end of next year having penned a four-year deal with the IRFU upon his return from Racing 92 back in 2015, and follows Conor Murray, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Tadhg Furlong in signing terms on another central contract.
“I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract to continue to play for Leinster and Ireland,” Sexton said.
“It is where I have always wanted to play so I am delighted to extend. We get looked after extremely well here and it is an exciting time for Irish rugby. I am looking forward to hopefully being a part of that over the next few years.”
Sexton made his Ireland debut against Fiji in November 2009 and has amassed 78 caps to date, scoring 738 international points.
A pivotal figure in Ireland’s Grand Slam success, Sexton also guided Schmidt’s side to a first Test series win in Australia in 28 years and a first home win over the All Blacks in 2018.
For Leinster, he remains an indispensable leader in the pivot position, not only helping his home province to a historic Champions Cup-Pro14 double last term, but this season becoming club captain.
IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, added: “Johnny’s hunger and drive mark him out as a truly world-class competitor.
“He sets a performance benchmark for those around him and is investing in the development of young out-halves in the Ireland squad while also seeking improvement in his own performance.
“He is a model professional and has been at the centre of a lot of the success enjoyed by Irish Rugby over the past few years.”
Sexton is an injury doubt for Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup against Bath on Saturday evening, having sustained a calf problem in the win over the Premiership club last weekend.
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