Sexton: Ireland consistency key amid WC focus

Last Updated: 26/10/21 5:01pm Captain Johnny Sexton says Ireland must use the Autumn Nations Series to produce a consistency in performance that they can build upon in their preparation for the next W

Sexton: Ireland consistency key amid WC focus

"It is about how we are going to get ourselves into the position going into that tournament where we are the best we can be, full of confidence and ready to take on the world," says fly-half Johnny Sexton who is on the verge of winning his 100th international cap

Last Updated: 26/10/21 5:01pm

Johnny Sexton is fully fit for the autumn series of fixtures Johnny Sexton is fully fit for the autumn series of fixtures
Johnny Sexton is fully fit for the autumn series of fixtures

Captain Johnny Sexton says Ireland must use the Autumn Nations Series to produce a consistency in performance that they can build upon in their preparation for the next World Cup.

Ireland, who are on a five-match winning streak, will play Japan, New Zealand and Argentina in Dublin during November.

Sexton, who will be 38 by the time of the 2023 World Cup in France, has shaken off a recent hip problem and is expected to move from 99 Tests to 100 during the upcoming fixtures.

"We have spoken about that (the road to the World Cup), with a two-year block ahead of us.

"It is about how we are going to get ourselves into the position going into that tournament where we are the best we can be, full of confidence and ready to take on the world.

"This block starts now - we want to see continuous improvement and consistency that everyone is proud of."

"We proved over the Six Nations we have big performances in us, but we need to make sure they are in us across the three games"

Johnny Sexton

Andy Farrell's side recovered from losing their opening two games of this year's Six Nations to finish third after ending the campaign with a 32-18 win against England at the Aviva Stadium.

Sexton, omitted from the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of South Africa, is looking forward to a return to the Ireland fold after being rested for their summer wins over Japan and the USA.

"Will it be hard? Yes, it is going to be a challenge, a lot of guys could be a bit undercooked, having not played many games for their clubs," he added.

"We are playing against teams which are battle-hardened.

"We have to set our standards high and expect performances of ourselves.

"We proved over the Six Nations we have big performances in us, but we need to make sure they are in us across the three games."

Leinster's Sexton is particularly excited at the prospect of the visit by New Zealand, who Ireland beat on their last trip to Dublin in 2018, with the match set to be held in front of a full-capacity crowd on November 13.

Sexton and his Ireland team-mates accept the plaudits after their first win over the All Blacks on home soil Sexton and his Ireland team-mates accept the plaudits after their first win over the All Blacks on home soil
Sexton and his Ireland team-mates accept the plaudits after their first win over the All Blacks on home soil

"When you talk about playing the All Blacks in front of a full stadium, if that doesn't get you up for what is ahead, then nothing will," Sexton said.

"We have missed the crowd so much, especially for the home games.

"It was something I took for granted and then when they are not there you kind of get used to it a bit, but to have them back has been brilliant.

"We have had some great crowds with Leinster, but a full crowd at the Aviva for an international, there is nothing like that, so we can't wait."