Best unconcerned with Sexton fitness

23 February 2018 17:04

Ireland captain Rory Best has no fears over the fitness of Johnny Sexton ahead of the crucial Six Nations encounter with Wales. 

Fly-half Sexton missed some of the captain's run on Friday to receive treatment on his lower back.

But hooker Best revealed Sexton did take part in the session later on, easing any concerns he could join Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw on the sidelines.

"He was grand, it's just that he's just getting a bit older, so he needed a bit longer to warm up, but he came into the tail-end of the session," Best said.

"He let the subs run at the start and then the starters finished off. No concerns."

In the lead up to the contest, Wales head coach Warren Gatland has rejected talk of Ireland being the best team in the competition, but Best had no issue with his comments.

"Look I think he's entitled to his opinion. He's coming off the back of having just played England and their record over the last two years speaks for itself," he added.

"But we'll not really pay any heed to that. We'll hope that through our performances tomorrow that we can change his mind.

"And if it doesn't change his mind tomorrow but we win, we'll not really be that bothered."

Best also dismissed suggestions Wales are a bogey team for Ireland, despite having not beaten them in the Six Nations since 2014.

"I don't think so. There's been some really tough games," Best said. "The game last year was a one-score game right up until the end.

"The maul try that got penalised, it doesn't matter now, but when you're playing the top teams it's down to fine margins.

"Last year we lost a couple of those through our own doing and also good play by Wales.

"We've got to win as many of those battles as we can tomorrow."

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