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While Johnny Sexton didn’t exactly have a vintage performance against England, his backs coach and former teammate Felipe Contepomi had no doubt that he would return stronger.

The Ireland fly-half missed two straightforward kicks and also failed to deal with a bouncing ball early on which led to a George Ford try and won’t look back on the game with fond memories.

The Argentine legend was speaking to Off The Ball’s Shane Hannon about Ireland’s loss to England and wasn’t worried over whether the game would affect Sexton in the long-term.

“If there’s one guy who I’d put all my money on to react in the proper way it would be Johnny. In that sense, I have no doubt about that.

“I think he’s a natural competitor and he’s always trying to find ways to improve. Even if he had a great game he’s always trying to improve on his game. Definitely yesterday wasn’t one of his best games.

“I’d say it wasn’t a great game for him but it’s one of those where we’ve been talking about Johnny so many times in a real positive way. After having great games he can allow himself to have a bad one,” Contepomi said.

The Ireland captain has been playing well for both province and country since returning from the Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Sunday’s performance an unfair reflection of his form.

“I think he’ll bounce back. From what I’ve seen since he’s come back from the World Cup he’s in great shape, great form and he’s training hard.

“He’s hungry to get better and his appetite to be a better player is still there. So I can’t see why he won’t have two great games against Italy and France,” Contepomi commented.

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