Johnny Sexton has backed Dan Biggar to thrive as Wales captain, joking that he’s “not sure the refs are going to be too happy having to deal with me and him!”
The Ireland skipper will go head-to-head with Biggar – appointed new Wales captain in the absence of Alun Wyn Jones – in the opening game of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations as the reigning champions begin their title defence in Dublin.
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Both out-halves are well known for being vocal characters, who are not afraid to have their say on the pitch, leading to the two players being compared in the past.
And speaking to the press after guiding Leinster to victory against Bath on Saturday, Sexton admitted the sight of himself and Biggar will probably be every referee’s worst nightmare.
“I text him the other night and said, ‘Congrats.’ I’m not sure the refs are going to be too happy having to deal with me and him! But there will be two of us in it anyway,” joked Sexton.
“He’s a good choice, he’s a leader and obviously one of the first names on the team sheet. He’s a Test match player. He’ll be good for them I think.”
Sexton’s outing against Bath in the 64-7 in Europe was his first start since November 13 when he donned the emerald green jersey as Ireland defeated New Zealand.
He missed the final outing of the Autumn Nations Series against Argentina due to injury but the 36-year-old is now fit and raring to go in the 2022 Championship.
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And while Ireland are one of the favourites to claim the title after their superb performances in the autumn, Sexton insists getting caught up in the past can be a dangerous game.
“We can’t take anything for granted,” he said.
“We have often had great Novembers and then a slow start [in the Six Nations]. We have had poor Novembers and we have come and blown the tournament apart and been great.
“So, it’s very hard to tell. I think what we need to do is concentrate on what we can control and that’s the two weeks ahead of us – making sure we prepare as well as we can and be in the best shape possible for Wales.
“To have a full crowd is amazing because if it was going to be 5,000 or restricted, it gives up your home advantage, but now we’ll get a big crowd and hopefully it will be a big day.”