Ireland captain Johnny Sexton confirms retirement date - Ruck

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton confirms retirement date

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has confirmed he will retire following the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France next September.

The fly-half has represented Ireland at three Rugby World Cup competitions already, at the 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions.

The former world player of the year, who will be 38 by the time the competition comes around, is aiming to play in his fourth World Cup and his first as captain having been handed the role after the 2019 tournament in Japan.

Andy Farrell has become increasingly reliant on the three-time Six Nations winner in recent years with the Leinster fly-half’s form showing little sign of dipping and few younger players emerging to really challenge him for the No. 10 jersey.

“Yeah, finished, 2023 World Cup,” he said. “I’m delighted to be able to say it.

“I’ve been beating around the bush for six months, always nervous talking about the World Cup when you weren’t guaranteed to be there.

“But I just want to make the most of the rest of my career, and go out on the top.

“I’d say when I do retire, I’ll miss everything about the game,” he added.

“It’s an absolute dream to do what I’ve done and to do it for so long is incredible. I pinch myself every day.

“I’m just very grateful to keep it going. When I hang up the boots I’ll be like a lost puppy for the first while, but I’ll find something else to throw myself into, golf maybe?”.

Johnny Sexton Facts:

He was part of the first Ireland men’s team to beat New Zealand in a Test match

Sexton played in all six Tests on the 2013 and 2017 British & Irish Lions tours

He married his childhood sweetheart Laura Priestley in 2013 

His favourite TV show is the Netflix hit Narcos and his favourite film is Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 release Inglourious Basterds.

Best players in the world: Top 20

20. Faf de Klerk (South Africa)

Faf de Klerk of Sale Sharks during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks at Sandy Park on 6 March 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

19. Hamish Watson (Scotland)

18. Courtney Lawes (England)

17. Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)

16. Josh van der Flier (Ireland)

15. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)

12. Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)

13. Finn Russell (Scotland)

11. Aaron Smith (New Zealand)