Brian O’Driscoll has leaped to the defence of Johnny Sexton in light of his latest dig at the Ireland outhalf from Eddie Jones.


Jones claimed that Sexton receives more protection from officials compared to his England outhalf Owen Farrell.

Farrell has a hip knock, which he picked up due to late hit from Andre Esterhuizen during last Saturday’s match with the Springboks, a game which also featured Farrell’s ‘no arms’ tackle on the same player.

“If he was Johnny Sexton, then we’d be able to complain about him, but because he’s Owen Farrell he’s allowed to be hit late,” said Jones on Thursday.

“He gets up and plays on. He’ll be like that this week.”

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Watch: Eddie Jones mentions name checks Sexton ahead of All Blacks clash

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But Brian O’Driscoll thinks it’s yet another Jones deflection tactic ahead of their clash with the All Blacks on Saturday.


“It’s throw the banger over in that direction to take attention away from what is the mainstay point,” said O’Driscoll.

“Here we are talking about it, rather than the actual point, which is who’s going to win the match.

“It’s a side plot to the bigger theme of what’s more important, the game on Saturday.

“Do I think Johnny Sexton’s more protected than Owen Farrell? Farrell throws it around a lot more than Johnny Sexton, so maybe from that perspective there’s less sympathy when he cops a late one, because he’s prone to the odd loose one himself, as the end of the South Africa game showed.”


O’Driscoll was speaking at a Guinness promotional event and added “Johnny doesn’t need protecting, but I think as well that Johnny, even more so than Owen Farrell, Johnny takes the ball to the line and encourages those shots, because they are marginal, a lot of them.

“So if he throws it half a second away from the contact and someone still follows through, it’s a call for the referee to make.

“Sometimes he’ll accept the one he throws right on the line, he gets right after he releases it, but that’s fair game.

“But now we’re talking about it so much, we’re achieving exactly what Eddie (Jones) was hoping for!”

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