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Andy Farrell insists Johnny Sexton’s World Cup chances are down to ‘form only’

Sexton

“It only has to be about form and it always has been.”

Andy Farrell has insisted that Johnny Sexton’s age is irrelevant to his chances of playing at the Rugby World Cup in 2023, as long as he stays “healthy and fit”.

Sexton signed a one-year extension to his IRFU contract on Tuesday which will keep him playing for Ireland and Leinster until the end of the 2021/22 season.

With the Ireland captain turning 36 in July, there are certainly doubts over whether he will still be playing by the time the World Cup in France kicks off in September 2023, but Farrell told RTE that he is unconcerned by his captain’s age.

Andy Farrel: Johnny Sexton’s World chances depend on his form.

“It only has to be about form and it always has been. If Johnny can stay healthy and fit and keep fighting on all fronts and keep staking a claim to warrant being number one then he’s doing something superbly well,” Farrell said.

“We’ve obviously got to be aware of the different scenarios along the way, that we keep talking and keep being honest about each other and making sure that we put the team first.

“That’s how it always has been and that’s how it will stay.”

Raft of new contracts for senior Ireland players.

Sexton is one of a number of senior Irish players that have signed new central contracts with the IRFU in recent days.

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony signed a new deal with Ireland and his province on Thursday, which will keep him in Limerick until the summer of 2023.

Cian Healy meanwhile signed a one-year contract extension with Leinster and Ireland on Friday morning, which should see the 33-year old prop add to his tally of 107 caps for his country.

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