Rugby-Sexton will be fit for Ireland’s Six Nations opener in Wales
"Steve will take over all the good that Eddie produced in that squad and there is plenty of that," Farrell said. "We play England at the very end of the competition so we will get a better look at them, but Steve (as assistant coach) has been around very successful England teams that won grand slams and got to a World Cup final.
Flyhalf Johnny Sexton will return to training with Ireland this week after recovering from a facial injury, but head coach Andy Farrell is also keen to test his stock in the number 10 jersey during this year’s Six Nations. Sexton is recovering from surgery to repair a cheekbone injury that was sustained playing for Leinster against Connacht on New Year's Day, but has confirmed he will be fit for Ireland’s opener against Wales in Cardiff on Feb. 4.
"After the initial bang I was scared of what was ahead, but I will be back training this week," Sexton told reporters on Monday, adding that his team mates feel no added pressure being the number one ranked side in the world. Ireland defeated world champions South Africa, Australia and Fiji for a clean sweep of their autumn internationals.
"We played in November with this target on our back (as the top-ranked team), people wanted to beat us and we got three good results. We have had experience in dealing with it. "The rankings are not something you talk about as players. I would rather win the Six Nations and be fifth or sixth in the world."
Farrell has left flyhalf Joey Carbery out of his squad in a move that has raised eyebrows and instead gone with Sexton, and the less experienced Ross Byrne and Jack Crowley as options. "There is some feedback that has gone Joey’s way. He was upset because it means a lot to him to be selected for Ireland," Farrell said.
"At the same time, while Joey works hard to get back in the room, there is another guy there in Ross. We think he has progressed with his game and he gets an opportunity to see if that can transfer that to the international stage. "Jack we have seen progress quickly and we want to give him time to see if he can reach his potential."
OLD FOES Farrell is looking forward to locking horns with two new coaches in this year’s Six Nations, even if both are old foes.
Steve Borthwick has taken over from Eddie Jones for England, while Warren Gatland is back at the helm with Wales. "Steve will take over all the good that Eddie produced in that squad and there is plenty of that," Farrell said.
"We play England at the very end of the competition so we will get a better look at them, but Steve (as assistant coach) has been around very successful England teams that won grand slams and got to a World Cup final. "Warren is a serial winner as far as the competition is concerned. We know what his sides look like."
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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