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Ireland skipper Sexton signs new IRFU deal

By PA
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton. (Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Ireland and Leinster captain Johnny Sexton has signed a one-year contract extension with the Irish Rugby Football Union. The new deal for the 35-year-old fly-half, who has won 97 caps for his country, will run until the end of the 2021-22 season.

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“I am really enjoying my rugby and I want to keep learning and adding value to both the Ireland and Leinster environments,” he told the IRFU website. “My appetite for success is the same as it ever was and the ambitions of both the Ireland and Leinster squads match my own.”

Sexton has been a key figure for Ireland for more than a decade following his international debut against Fiji in November 2009.

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The 2018 World Player of the Year took on the national team captaincy from Rory Best following the 2019 World Cup and has spoken of his desire to play at the 2023 tournament in France, by which time he will be 38.

IRFU performance director David Nucifora said: “Johnny continues to show he has the quality and appetite to compete at the highest levels. He is playing an important leadership role with the Ireland squad and his insight and experience continues to be of great value to the group.”

It was last week, prior to the round three Guinness Six Nations win over Italy, when Sexton hinted that a fresh deal fully funded by the IRFU was in the pipeline. “I have always been in the same position. I absolutely love what I do, I am very privileged to do it and I am still loving it, and I will keep playing for now – that has never changed,” he said.

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“I have spoken about admiration for athletes that have stayed at the top of their game for a long time but you have got to be careful with what I said or what someone else said because it can get lost a bit. For the moment, I am still motivated – I hope my teammates and coaches see how motivated I am to train well every day and keep going. At the moment, I am contracted for this season and nearly contracted for next season. Hopefully, I will stay. We’ll see what happens.”

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Ireland skipper Sexton signs new IRFU deal

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