Few captains are as influential as Johnny Sexton. Not only does he set the standards and require the best from his teammates, he also dictates the pace of play and is the conductor of the orchestra with both Leinster and Ireland.
The way he deals with referees is another interesting aspect of his game.
It's fair to say that Sexton often toes the line in terms of overstepping the mark with the officials on occasion. He certainly always makes the case for his team when it comes to borderline decisions, something others are often hesitant to do.
That has rubbed some referees up the wrong way in the past. Luke Pearce is among them, who has admitted that the Irishman can be a difficult player to referee.
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Johnny Sexton comment caught on ref mic during Six Nations game
When Pearce was appointed to this afternoon's Six Nations game between Ireland and Scotland, you always got the sense that he would have a run-in or two with Johnny Sexton over the course of the game.
We saw that around the half hour mark. After Ireland were given a penalty on the Scotland line, one of the Irish players questioned as to why the infringement didn't result in a yellow card.
Pearce called Sexton over to have a word about attempting to influence his decisions, but the 37-year old only backed up his teammate's point.
Johnny Sexton was having none of the referee's complaints here 🤣 #SCOvIRE pic.twitter.com/1O7zz36f2B
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) March 12, 2023
Pearce: Just be careful Johnny. If this player asks for a yellow card, then he might go as well. Okay?
Sexton: Okay. We're nearly there though.
This was understated from Johnny Sexton, but it was another example of him keeping on the referee to ensure that they are keeping their standards high throughout the game.