Johnny Sexton says he’s learned from Paris substitution saga

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton says he accepts he made a mistake in his reaction to being substituted in the Six Nations defeat to France in Paris.

The Leinster out half was criticised after shaking his head repeatedly when he was called ashore after 70 minutes at the Stade de France.

Sexton confirmed last week that he had a discussion afterwards with boss Andy Farrell and apologised for his actions, with both prepared to move on from the incident.

Speaking to the media again yesterday ahead of Friday’s Nations League clash with Wales at the Aviva Stadium, Sexton says he takes full responsibility for the controversy, and that he’s taking the learnings from it.

“When you make a mistake you have to accept the consequences of it. I’ve had good chats with the management, I said this last week and I’d rather we didn’t discuss it too much further.

“But like I said, if you mistake you’ve got to bear the brunt of it. I’ve been getting criticism, I’ve got to move on, I’ve got to be better and I’ll try and do better in the future.”

Sexton says he’s looking forward to getting back on to the field and letting his rugby do his talking.

“It’s just trying to get back up there, but ultimately we’re never going to be able to make up for last Saturday [against France]. That’s the hard thing about sport. Obviously we want to get better and improve and  we want to target this competition and try and win it, and try and win next year’s Six Nations.

“It’s one that got away we felt last weekend, because we didn’t play to our potential, and now everything this week is about playing to our potential. We’re playing against a team that is obviously a lot lot better than their latest results would have suggested, and they’ve had a lot of tight encounters that haven’t gone their way.

“It’s two teams that are hurting a lot, and it’s going to be a very tough game come Friday.”

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