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Jonathan Sexton confirms new IRFU deal will be his last

Jonathan Sexton says his new deal with the IRFU was sorted within a couple of conversations.  Th...



Jonathan Sexton says his new deal with the IRFU was sorted within a couple of conversations. 

The Ireland captain has confirmed he will bow out after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with his contract renewal taking him through the tournament in France.

Sexton admits he'll be a "lost puppy" when he finally hangs up his boots, but has expressed his relief at being able to admit he's on the final strait.

"It was always my intention to try and stay at the top of my game, to get myself to a World Cup," he said, "And I'm very thankful and grateful that I've been afforded that opportunity to do it, and now it's up to me to keep working hard and keep the body in good shape.

"I'm still very driven to get there and perform at a World Cup. That was one of the biggest factors for me... I've spoken to a lot of guys that have finished in the game, and they have big regrets over World Cups.

Sexton reiterated his hunger to remain in the international fold, not wanting to go out with a whimper.

The Leinster out-half revealed that initial talks about a renewal began "a few months ago", centring on his desire to continue playing.

Despite a caution that comes with advanced years, Sexton was happy to put pen to paper on a new contract, "We sat down last week, and we sorted it out in a couple of conversations.

"There was the balance in making sure you're looked after, but also acknowledging that you're 36 and there's risk that goes along with that.

"At the same time, all you can do is go on what's in front of you. I hope to keep proving my worth."

For Sexton, his relief at securing that final contract is offset by a determination to ensure it ends with a sense of fulfilment.

"Yep, I finish [at the] 2023 World Cup," he declared.

"I'm delighted to be able to say it. As in, I've been beating around the bush for six months, always nervous about talking about the World Cup when you weren't guaranteed to be there.

"But I just want to make the most of this last 18 months of my career, and want to go out at the top. And that's up to me now to work hard and get the body and mind in the best shape possible and attack the last 18 months."

And what of those days post-retirement?

"Golf, maybe."

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2023 Rugby World Cup IRFU Ireland Johnny Sexton Jonathan Sexton Rugby World Cup

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