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Johnny Sexton all fired up for Six Nations comeback: Farrell

By Nick Purewal

Johnny Sexton cannot wait to stand up to another RBS Six Nations skirmish with France, according to Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell. Ireland's linchpin fly-half will return from a month battling calf trouble for today's clash with Les Bleus in Dublin.

Sexton was knocked unconscious in Ireland's 22-20 win in Paris in 2014, suffered a nasty black eye when the Irish prevailed 18-11 in Dublin a year later and was then subjected to open pledges of special treatment at the World Cup in 2015.

Farrell has, however, still backed the 31-year-old to thrive under the thinly-veiled threat of further physical bullying from the French.

"Johnny's got plenty of energy in defence hasn't he?" said Farrell.

"The 10 has got such a responsibility to run the attack, but the way he shows such big commitment in defence as well, it speaks volumes for him as a person.

"Johnny brings that line speed and energy week to week, and he's certainly excited about getting back amongst it.

"We talk about detail and how smart we can be in defence, but ultimately if we can't back that up with a bit of attitude it all comes to nothing.

"And that's certainly what Johnny has. You want defence to be enjoyable, and it definitely is when that attitude is there. That's what you're after at the end of the day."

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