Although Farrell opted to rest Sexton for the summer Tests against Japan and the USA, he confirmed that the Ireland captain was fully fit and that Lions boss Warren Gatland was aware of the situation.
Sexton finished the Six Nations strongly, but hasn’t played since April after being sidelined with a head injury and, as such, he was not selected by Gatland for the initial Lions squad.
However, injury was not the reason the 36-year-old didn’t feature in Ireland’s last two games, as Farrell wanted to look at alternative options at 10.
Recent England debutant Marcus Smith got the nod ahead of the vastly-experienced Sexton to offset Russell’s setback, with Gatland preferring a similar type of out-half.
Asked if he could shed any further light on Sexton’s latest Lions snub, Farrell said: “You know as much as me. I mean, Johnny is fighting fit. He’s been in our camp, he is taking good care of himself and Warren knows that. I heard the comments, I think he made the comments that it was like-for-like with Finn Russell and Marcus Smith.
“I mean, I don’t know what to make of it, to be honest. Again, I can only go back to what we all know, who was the best fly-half in the Six Nations? I don’t know what more Johnny could do really.”
Several Ireland players are in a tricky position in that they won’t be going on holiday any time soon, as they continue to be on standby for the Lions. Others will take a well-earned break having finally finished a mammoth season after hammering the USA 71-10, the only casualty being Andrew Conway (head, failed HIA).
“The lads that have had a (Lions) letter — the group of 50, who I’m not fully aware of — and I’m sure they’d be next cabs off the rank,” Farrell added.
“If I was the likes of Josh (van der Flier) and even Caelan Doris, coming back fit now and having a couple of games under his belt, I’d certainly be looking after myself. It’s been a hell of a year and all credit to them and how they finished the season off. They (non-Lions) warrant a good break now.”
Farrell, meanwhile, says Ronan Kelleher is “coming on a treat” at Test level following his record-equalling display in the dismantling of the United States. “He’s growing, certainly at this level,” said Farrell. “His set-piece is getting better, we know how dynamic he is with the ball but his defence is a lot more aggressive and he’s coming on a treat as a top-class hooker.”