It's fair to say Johnny Sexton has a lot on his plate at the minute. His new role as Ireland captain is made all the more difficult by having the role of the orchestrator of the attack, as well as the person who makes the vital decisions around penalties.
Ronan O'Gara recently said that Sexton probably should not have been burdened with the extra responsibility of the captaincy, especially when you consider all he does for the team already.
Those comments were not all that welcomed by the player himself, who recently said “I thought ROG was coaching at La Rochelle, I don’t know why he’s talking about us".
O'Gara has moved to clarify his comments this afternoon. Speaking on Virgin Media Sport, he said that it was not a criticism of Sexton and that he was only judging the situation based on his won past experiences.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 7, 2020
O'Gara: It was more a compliment, but if you read the headline it's kind of that you feel like he's not the right person. When you go through the team I think he deserves and has every right to be the captain.
That wasn't the point all. From my experience of being in the hot pressured situations which may only arrive once a season, or may not at all. I was very lucky in the fact that if it was Brian O'Driscoll or Paul O'Connell they were standout captains anyway.
It was more the idea that if there was a 50/50 decision to be made in terms of kicking at goal or kicking for the corner, sometimes inside of you you go 'I'm going to the line', when 13 others could be screaming 'we need the points here, we need a breather, our front five are really tired'.
That was the thing. There was no need for hysterics.
Horgan: I do think it's indisputable that there's too much resting on Johnny Sexton's shoulders with this team. He's the ten, he's the talisman, he's the coach's voice on the field, he's a decision maker, he's the captain.
It's too much.