Gordon D’Arcy: Few realistic pretenders yet to Sexton’s throne

If the current pecking order remains, Farrell will need the veteran outhalf for next World Cup

Johnny Sexton with Harry Byrne, whose injury profile means he remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the outhalf spot. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton with Harry Byrne, whose injury profile means he remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the outhalf spot. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton remains both the problem and the solution per se. If that sounds like fortune cookie wisdom it’s not meant to be, instead a statement that at 36-years of age he remains the premier outhalf in Irish rugby.

In an ideal world or one where the succession in personnel is conducted in an orderly fashion he might currently be ensconced in a mentoring role both at Leinster and Ireland, starting a limited number of games, while if required, also offering that experience and guile to close out the bigger matches: ‘a break glass in case of emergency figure’.

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