Saturday 25 January 2020

Leo Cullen clarifies Johnny Sexton's half time withdrawal amid injury fears ahead of All Blacks clash

After missing last weekend's Champions Cup opener against Castres, Johnny Sexton returned to the Leinster team for today's trip to Montpellier.

However, Sexton wasn't on place kicking duties and only played the first half before being replaced by Joey Carbery. With the autumn series fast approaching, many fans were worried when Ireland's first choice ten didn't reappear for the second 40.

However, speaking to Sky Sports after Leinster's 22-16 loss, head coach Leo Cullen went some way to allaying those fears when he explained why Sexton and the returning Sean O'Brien were both withdrawn at the break.

"We just wanted to make sure those guys come through," Cullen said.

"We are just managing them and being ultra-cautious."

Ireland start the November internationals with a game against the All Blacks in Chicago on November 5 before hosting Canada, the All Blacks and Australia at the Aviva Stadium.

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