Rugby

Playing Johnny Sexton Is A Massive Risk According To Matt Williams

Playing Johnny Sexton Is A Massive Risk According To Matt Williams

Former Leinster and Ulster coach Matt Williams was offering his opinion on Ireland's quarter final clash on Second Captains this week and he had some interesting things to say on Johnny Sexton's injury.

Speaking before the team announcement Williams was confident that Sexton would not feature due to the nature of his injury. He found it hard to believe that the out half could recover from such an injury in the space of a week and that Ian Madigan would be the obvious selection to start the match.

The Tv3 pundit has since been proved wrong, but his thoughts on Sextons injury and how it will have effected preparation are very interesting and they definitely suggest that picking Sexton could end up being a massive risk for Joe Schmidt.

Williams had this to say about who he believed would be wearing the 10 jersey.

I don't think Johnny has got a hope to be honest. I've had plenty of abductor strains myself and they're not a five day turnaround.

Miracles do happen but an abductor strain is like a cut, it's like a deep internal cut and cuts don't fully heal in the space in a week. Usually an abductor is a two week injury, and if it was only a slight strain they'd have left him on.

He's recovered well but when you get up to top speed and you're changing direction and moving you can really do some damage.

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Williams then gave an excellent insight into how preparations for the game may have been effected by uncertainty over who was calling the shots at outhalf.  They alluded to the fact that all the plays would have been going trough Madigan whilst Sexton was being assessed and that a late change could upset things.

Madigan is definitely in the side in training, if Johnny comes through late on Thursday or Friday that's a bonus. But all your plays have got to go through 10 during the week.

The panel also alluded to the fact that Sextons injury could greatly effect his kicking game, which in such a tight game could turn out to be the difference.

Jeremy Fullam

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