Johnny Sexton has confirmed he will retire after the 2023 World Cup fresh from signing a new deal with Irish Rugby.
The fly-half won his 100th cap against Japan in November and is currently captaining his country in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.
The 36-year-old, who was World Player of the Year in 2018, is determined to go out on a high at his fourth Rugby World Cup in France next year and feels he can still deliver.
“Yeah, finished, 2023 World Cup – it’s up to me to work hard, get the body and mind in the best shape possible and attack the last 18 months,” he said.
“I’m still very driven to get there and perform at the World Cup.
“I always said that if I am enjoying my rugby and the Ireland and Leinster set-ups believe I can add value to the environment then it would be an easy decision to sign another contract.
“There is some great talent coming through at Leinster at present and I am excited about the prospect of competing at a fourth World Cup with Ireland and the potential for growth in this group between now and then.”
Next year will also mark Sexton’s final Guinness Six Nations but before then he will hope to win a fourth title this season.
Ireland travel to England on Saturday and can still overhaul France at the top of the table, if Les Bleus fail to win the Grand Slam.
Sexton won the Grand Slam in 2018 and also played a key role in Championship successes in 2014 and 2015.
David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented: “Johnny’s performances continue to be of the highest standard and he remains an integral member of the Ireland and Leinster squads.
“He has always been a leader on the field and in the past two years since taking on the Ireland captaincy his leadership off it has been top class. Johnny is a generational player and we are delighted that he has extended to 2023.”