Friday 18 January 2019

Sexton: Slam just the start

Out-half calls on Leinster to harness Ireland's good feeling

Johnny Sexton
Johnny Sexton

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

The feel-good factor from Ireland's Grand Slam success will result in big crowds at Thomond Park and the Aviva Stadium this weekend as Munster and Leinster go into Champions Cup quarter-final action and Johnny Sexton wants to channel the momentum into provincial success.

Munster have confirmed that their home ground has sold-out for the visit of Toulon on Saturday, while Leinster have sold more than 46,000 tickets for their Aviva Stadium clash with the champions Saracens.

They followed the 2009 Six Nations success by claiming their first Heineken Cup final and Sexton wants to repeat the trick this time around.

"It's very strange to win something so special in the middle of the season, but I'd much rather be where we are," he said. "There's a feel-good factor this week, a sense that we've accomplished a lot but we want to add to it now.

"It's a different team, a different management and it's a different challenge this week as well. When the lads won it in 2009 we followed it up with a Heineken Cup and it made for one of the most special years of my career so I want to try and do the same."

Jack Conan (knee) and Fergus McFadden (head) are major doubts for Leinster who hope to have Seán O'Brien and Rhys Ruddock available.

Munster, meanwhile, welcomed Simon Zebo back to training yesterday.

Irish Independent

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