One bad game against England should not define Johnny Sexton as a bad captain, according to Sarah O’Donovan.
The former Cork and Dublin camogie player was speaking on The Saturday Panel and dismissed the notion that Sexton is the wrong man to captain Ireland.
The 2018 World Player of the Year played poorly in Ireland’s loss to England in Twickenham but O’Donovan feels that much of the criticism directed towards him has gone too far.
“In terms of the Irish captaincy, what are you asking Johnny Sexton to do? From my mind, as a player in the dressing room looking at our captain, we’re looking to lead within. We’re not looking to lead everyone else in the country or in the world.
“I’m looking to lead my players within my team. If my teammates are comfortable with me as a captain that should be enough.
“I don’t think any of the players who are in the setup could deny the fact that Johnny Sexton was the best player in the world and was recognised as so.
“You would find it difficult not to recognise his talent, his ability and his commitment to get to the top of this sport. That is leading,” O’Donovan said.
'He didn't go out to be a bad captain'
Ronan O’Gara told Off The Ball on Wednesday Night Rugby that he was opposed to Sexton being chosen as captain “from day one” as a fly-half has enough responsibility to bear without the captaincy.
However, the former camogie player, who has experience as a captain herself, wasn’t convinced that the extra responsibility was affecting Sexton’s performance.
“I don’t think Johnny Sexton is going out onto the field and crosses the line going, ‘Right. I’m the captain of this group.’ I think he’s looking for a performance.
“He didn’t get a performance and as a result, it reflects on his captaincy. It wasn’t that he went out to be a bad captain.
“He went out to be a performer and to perform well. That didn’t happen. I don’t think it should reflect on your captain,” O’Donovan said.
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