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Six Nations: Rory Best backs Sexton to dish out Paris agony

By Jonathan Bradley

Rory Best expects Johnny Sexton to weave his magic and mastermind a memorable victory for Ireland in Paris today.

Sexton played for Racing Metro in the French capital for two years and Irish skipper Best knows the outhalf would love to hit the headlines at the Stade de France when the Six Nations battle gets under way (2.25pm).

"Johnny has a big role in terms of the fact he runs the game for us anyway," said Ulster favourite and Ireland captain Best.

"If Johnny knows one of the players personally and someone asked him about it, he's always giving of his time and information, but the pressure's on each player to know, we can't rely on Johnny because he's played in France to help us, we've got to know all of that ourselves.

"He just talked through a few of the plays, things around the game-plan.

"At this stage of the week it's important that it is player-driven. That's what the huddle and the walk around the pitch is all about.

"The coaches have done their bit and it's up to the players now. The coaches can influence tactics, but ultimately it's up to the players that take the field."

Last week's draw against Wales has tightened Ireland's margin for error and they now need a rare win in Paris to keep their Six Nations hat-trick dreams alive.

It's a tall order but Best added: "Ireland sides were always capable of big, big performance."

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