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Johnny Sexton outlines “emotional” visit from three special guests ahead of France win

Johnny Sexton outlines emotional visit to Ireland squad.

Johnny Sexton has been speaking after an emotionally-charged victory for Ireland over France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The 32-19 victory for Andy Farrell’s side was as entertaining a match as you’re likely to see in this year’s Six Nations, and came after a number of Ireland players looked teary-eyed during the rendition of Ireland’s Call.

Sexton went some way to explaining the heightened emotions after the game, by referring back to a visit to the squad by ex-captain Brian O’Driscoll, former Ireland and Lions player Dr David Irwin and broadcaster Craig Doyle, who worked with O’Driscoll on a documentary called Shoulder to Shoulder.

Johnny Sexton: “It was very emotional.”

“We had a special week, a special build up to the game,” said the current Ireland skipper. “We had a couple of special guests in during the week and spoke about ‘Ireland’s Call’ and it was very emotional.

“And unless you were in the room on Monday night, you wouldn’t understand why. It was Brian and Craig Doyle and the Doc, Davy Irwin, came in and spoke to us about the ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ documentary and it was very, very special.

“So it was a great day, great occasion. The French supporters turned up and our supporters turned up and we turned up. It was a hell of a game and obviously it came down to chances.

Conor Murray.

Sexton also paid tribute to his long-time half-back partner Conor Murray, who put in a brilliant performance against the French, at the end of a week in which his father Gerry was involved in a road accident.

“It’s a mark of the character and the player,” Sexton said of the Munster man. “In my eyes, he’s always been a class operator… Amazing, really, that he could show up today, be so calm and perform the way he did.”

Ireland currently sit top of the Six Nations table, level on 10 points with Scotland, who defeated Wales 35-7 later on Saturday.

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