RUGBY : Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll is backing Leinster team-mate Jonathan Sexton to make a seamless transition to Test rugby.
Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll is backing Leinster team-mate Jonathan Sexton to make a seamless transition to Test rugby.
The 24-year-old is poised to make his debut in Saturday’s clash with Fiji at the RDS, with head coach Declan Kidney hoping to uncover a credible alternative to Ronan O’Gara at fly-half.
“Jonathan’s a very talented player but also has a strong work ethic. He puts a lot of thought into his game,” said O’Driscoll. “With every game he’s getting better and he has a great future in Irish rugby.”
He added: “He does a lot of background work and we knock him for having an encyclopaedic knowledge of games we’ve been involved in. He can recall crazy things.
“It’s been a huge six months for him, coming in at the semi-final of the Heineken Cup and controlling things the way he did.
“Then he gave a big performance in the final. This year he has been very solid and controls things well.”
Sexton was an unused substitute in last Saturday’s 20-20 draw with Australia and is delighted to finally realise his boyhood dream by winning his first cap.
“This is a very proud moment for me and my family. This is different to winning the Heineken Cup, which is a team thing,” he said. “Getting selected by Ireland is a personal thing but is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid.
“I’ve focused on not trying as hard to make things happen. I was trying too hard at the start of last year.
“I’ve relaxed a bit and I’m not concentrating on the mistakes I make. I have a more positive outlook.”