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Johnny Sexton: "It's a massive honour" to skipper Ireland

World Player of the Year Johnny Sexton will become the 106th player to captain the Irish rugby te...



World Player of the Year Johnny Sexton will become the 106th player to captain the Irish rugby team when he wears the green against Russia on Thursday.

Sexton has recovered from a quad muscle injury to wear the armband on what will be his 86th appearance for his country in the World Cup Pool A match in Kobe.

Regular captain Rory Best is rested, with Niall Scannell starting at hooker and Sean Cronin among the replacements.

Sexton has natural leadership qualities and he's looking forward to showing them:

"It's a massive honour. I spoke to Joe this morning, so I only found out myself over the last few hours. I haven't even had the chance to tell my family or anything, but I am sure they are going to be very proud. It's something that I have thought about since I was a kid, something that I have made a lot of decisions around trying to get there one day. It's taken a while, but it was worth the wait. I feel incredibly proud, but I want to be the captain of a good performance and a good win at a World Cup game, so that's my main focus. I don't think anything changes for me."

Sexton also revealed that he has returned to place kicking, having given up the duties to Conor Murray during the opening win over Scotland:

"I kicked yesterday and then I kicked again today, post-session, so I feel good."

Sexton was also asked about the closed stadium in Kobe, which will present humid conditions:

"It's something we'll have to be conscious of about playing smartly. We can't just run out and run everything. We have a plan in place and hopefully, it won't be too big a factor."

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