Johnny Sexton has confirmed that he will retire from rugby after the 2023 World Cup. The Leinster out-half has signed a new deal with the IRFU which runs until the end of the tournament.
Sexton won his 103rd cap for Ireland in the Six Nations victory over Italy last month. He will be 38 when the World Cup takes place in France during September and October next year.
Last year, he signed a one-year extension to his deal, which was due to expire at the end of this season.
"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," said Sexton.
"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."
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 7, 2022
At a press conference on Tuesday, Sexton confirmed that should he play in the World Cup, it will be the final act of his career.
"Yeah, finished, 2023 World Cup," he said.
"I’m delighted to be able to say it. I’ve been beating around the bush for six months, always nervous talking about the World Cup when you weren’t guaranteed to be there, but I just want to make the most of this last 18 months of my career, and go out on the top. It’s up to me now to work hard and get the body and mind in the best shape possible, and attack the last 18 months.”
IRFU performance director David Nucifora added: "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."