Sexton returns for Leinster on Friday

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Updated: March 1, 2011

Jonathan Sexton returned to the Leinster squad yesterday and looks set to line out for his province against Scarlets on Friday night.

The out-half was dropped for Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Scotland at the weekend but came on as a late replacement for Ronan O’Gara.

Sexton will be keen to play the full Magners League game this week and hopefully impress Irish coach Declan Kidney enough to get back his place in the Irish side for their next Six Nations match.

Leinster’s kicking coach Richie Murphy believes Sexton will be ready on Friday night:

“He will be ready to play. Jonny has matured really well. He realises that Ronan had a really good game but I expect Jonny to just come back the same way as he always does and perform for Leinster if he plays. He is confident in his ability and he is playing well. Everyone has their own opinion on the way he is playing for Ireland, but he suits our game and we are looking forward to getting him back as soon as possible.

“I don’t see it (being dropped) as being an issue at all for him. I think he will look forward to playing. He will add a lot to us in his leadership and in what he brings to the game.”

Murphy added that he believes Ireland’s chasing game is not suited to the kicking game and this is putting pressure on Sexton:

“A lot of the focus has gone onto him for closing out the game. There was a lot of rough stuff going on and people were making the calls to kick the ball more, but if you only have two lads on the chase line, you can’t kick it because it will just come straight back at you. Our chase line wasn’t great and the ball came straight back at us. It’s a good learning curve. You learn something every time you go onto the pitch and I know he won’t be afraid of that.”

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