Sexton declares: I’ll be fit for All-Blacks test

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Updated: October 26, 2016
Ireland's Johnny Sexton

The out-half was substituted at half-time during Leinster’s weekend defeat to Montpellier.

Johnny Sexton is adamant that he will have no fitness issues when heading into Ireland’s matchup with New Zealand next weekend.

Joe Schmidt’s side will take on the might of the All Blacks on 5 November in Chicago.

Concerns surrounding Sexton’s recent hamstring injury had many outlets questioning whether he would be available for the upcoming international.

After returning to Leinster’s starting line-up for their Champions Cup tie with Montpellier this past weekend, the out-half was hauled off at half-time.

This led to worries that the 31-year-old had aggravated the injury with kept him out of action for Leinster’s Castres test two weeks ago.

However, Sexton has calmed these fears, after confirming that his substitution had been fully planned prior to kick-off.

Obviously the week before, I’d hurt my hamstring, very minor but in a place that it would be quite risky’.

So I was in a race against time to get fit for the game. I had limited training time with the lads, so then to get fit for the game was a bonus‘.

‘I knew my time would be restricted and then Leo obviously made the call to do it at half-time. I would have liked to have gone on further but I knew that it wouldn’t be the full game anyway. It was their call‘.

It’s a case of just making sure that it’s 100%, which it was, and then just making sure that it was managed back into it’.

He went on to confirm that Isa Nacewa taking over kicking duties was purely to allow the Leinster captain to get into a rhythm for the second-half, and not due to any injury concerns for himself.

I knew I wasn’t going to playing for a full game, so there’s no point in me kicking for 50 minutes and then saying, ‘Best of luck, Isa, for the rest of the game.’ As a kicker, you obviously want those early kicks. That’s it – it was made around the team. Isa is kicking well’.

I was kicking in the warm-up as well, because I was fit to kick. It was just for Isa and the team and thankfully it was the right decision, because he had to nail some important kicks’.

While he will not line out for Leinster against Connacht this weekend, Sexton has assured that he will be fit and raring to go against the world’s best side in 10 days time.

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