Ireland v Samoa: Schmidt admits Sexton fatigue is a concern

Ireland v Samoa: Head coach Joe Schmidt admits he is concerned about Jonny Sexton's fitness after a gruelling start to the season

Jonny Sexton
Jonny Sexton, Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien Photo: Twitter/Rob Kearney

Joe Schmidt has admitted concern at the amount of game time Jonny Sexton has had for Racing Metro this season ahead of the start of their autumn campaign.

Schmidt takes charge of Ireland for the first time this Saturday with Samoa the visitors to the Aviva Stadium.

Sexton, meanwhile, has already played 13 matches in 13 weeks, spending 865 minutes on the pitch and completing 80 minutes in seven of the eight matches before a rest last weekend.

And while Schmidt was pleased to see his fly-half, who last played for Ireland in this year’s RBS 6 Nations defeat to England, given some time off, he admits that fatigue may mean he turns elsewhere for his starting No.10 against Samoa.

“Depth in the club and a reliance on a player is one of the ingredients you’ve got to put into the mix when you’re making those decisions and Jonny’s a pretty important ingredient for Racing,” Schmidt told the Irish Independent.

“I’ve watched all their games so far and he’s been super for them and so I think there’s a degree of reliance on Jonny being there, particularly because [fellow out-half] Jonathan Wisniewski has been injured.

“Juan Martin Hernandez was away with the Pumas and so for those two reasons they’ve been massively reliant on Jonny.”

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