Friday 24 November 2017

Sexton wins award and fit for Aviva tie

OUT-HALF Jonathan Sexton has been named Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Player of the Month for November/December as further evidence of his push to regain his Ireland place from Ronan O'Gara.

Sexton won three Man of the Match awards from six matches, including four in the Heineken Cup.

He shot seven penalties to down Munster in November and accounted for all the points against Bath at the Recreation Grounds in December.

"We had a lot of tough games over the period and what's been great about it is obviously the results, but also the amount of players we've used over those games," said Sexton.

"Anyone that has got a chance to play has done really well and it has given Joe (Schmidt) plenty of options going forward.

"The first two (Heineken Cup) games put us in a decent position. Saving the draw away to Montpellier, was I suppose crucial; it meant that winning at home against Glasgow put us in a good position."

Sexton damaged an ankle on Sunday in Glasgow but he will be made available for selection, as will Luke Fitzgerald, whose neck strain had raised fears about his long-term fitness.

As Leinster have already qualified as pool winners and likely top seeds, coach Joe Schmidt may choose to rest Sexton ahead of Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales in February.

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