Ireland Captain Johnny Sexton Makes Massive World Cup Admission Ahead Injury Return
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Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has admitted for the first time that he might not be around come the next Rugby World Cup.
Sexton is 36 this summer and will be 38 by the time France 2023 rolls around – but the feeling has always been that he would continue to play and be available for selection until at least after that tournament,
But it appears the outhalf might have hung his boots up before the end of this cycle, despite the fact that he has admitted he is close to signing a new contract with Leinster.
There is still hope that Sexton will be still playing with the Leinsterman not officially confirming whether he’ll be around or not, although he did hint at the latter.
“If we talk about World Cup cycles, I might not be part of the full cycle but this group will definitely be better for this type of coaching and structures,” Sexton said today.
In terms of the rhetoric that has been floating around that the Ireland skipper will play potentially into his 40s, Sexton said a lot of that has been other people fueling the fire.
“If you look at what I said… it’s been other people that have sort of thrown fuel on the fire,” Sexton added.
“Isa [Nacewa, former Leinster captain] telling people that I could play until I was 40,41.
“I’ve always been of the same position, where I absolutely love what I do. I’m very privileged to do it and I’m still loving it and I’ll keep playing for now.
“That has never changed, you know what I mean, like. I’ve spoken about admiration for athletes that have stayed at the top of their game for a long time but …what I said or what someone else said, it can get lost a bit, but for the moment I’m still motivated.
“I hope that my team-mates and coaches see how motivated I am to train well every day and then to keep going and whenever that is, I can’t say I’m going to play [until a certain age] because no one knows.
“[You can be] 24 or 25 years of age, you get an injury and you’re finished, like then, you know what I mean so it’s, yeah, at the moment I am contracted for this season and nearly contracted for next season.
“Hopefully, I’ll stay and we’ll see what happens.”