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30th Jan 2024

Andy Farrell opinion of Johnny Sexton confirmed in Netflix changing room speech

Patrick McCarry

Johnny Sexton

“One more year, ONE MORE YEAR!”

The campaign may have worked for Brian O’Driscoll, in the past, but Johnny Sexton was not for turning, once his mind was made up. Andy Farrell is perfectly placed to speak on his legacy.

The former Ireland captain retired at the World Cup, having led his country on a 15-month winning streak that end abruptly in the quarter finals. Aged 38, Sexton hung up his boots and, for now, has stepped away from a game he has invested so much of himself in for the past two decades.

One special memory Sexton will always cherish will be leading Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam, in March 2023, clinched on home soil. Not long after he had hoisted the Six Nations trophy, at Aviva Stadium, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell told us:

“It’s unbelievably fitting that, in my opinion, the best player ever to play for Ireland is able to sign off on a Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day (weekend), in front of his home crowd.

“For captain Johnny here to finish his Six Nations campaign – he’s been saying all week that this is what dreams are made of, it doesn’t come around that often. There’s a lot of stars that have aligned over the last eight weeks and accumulated into this evening.”

In the new Netflix rugby documentary, Six Nations: Full Contact, Farrell is captured in the Irish dressing room giving a similar speech to the triumphant set of players as they enjoy some beers and bask in each others’ company.


Johnny Sexton pictured during an Ireland Rugby media conference in Domont, France. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile)

Andy Farrell on ‘best ever’ Johnny Sexton

Johnny Sexton ended up with 1,108 points for Ireland, in his 116 Test caps, and he lined out in six more Tests for the British & Irish Lions. Aside from his clutch of honours with Leinster, he won four Six Nations titles with Ireland (including two Grand Slams), Test Series against Australia and New Zealand, was nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year on three occasions, and won the accolade three times.

During the eight-episode Netflix documentary, viewers get to spend some time with Sexton as he plays his final game in the Six Nations. The outhalf’s legacy is discussed by pundits, and Andy Farrell outlines what he means to his team, and country.

Following Ireland’s win over England, which clinched the Grand Slam, Farrell addresses his squad, and back-room staff, in the home dressing room. Stopping for a beat to ask forwards coach Paul O’Connell for affirmation, he declares:

“Johnny, for you, I mean… am I allowed to say this Paul? The best ever Irish player to play the game. 100%. I know you’re shaking your head, because that’s you.

“But to be able to do it in your last game, your way, in your last Six Nations game, here at the Aviva in front of all your mates and the Irish public here, and all over the world, you’ll remember that forever. And we thank you for everything.”

As Sexton, holding a beer with a Six Nations medal around his neck, his teammates start chanting, “One more year, ONE MORE YEAR!”

Sexton has previously been called Ireland’s greatest ever player by former teammate Jamie Heaslip, and many would agree with the shout. In the professional era, which began in 1995, he would be up against the likes of O’Connell, O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara.

The debate will rage on, through the years, and Irish fans may yet be fortunate enough to add a few more names to that vaunted list.

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