Rugby Rugby World Cup 2019: Sexton ‘honoured’ to captain much-changed Ireland

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Only four players remain from Ireland’s stunning defeat to Japan, as Johnny Sexton captains his country for the first time against Russia.

Johnny Sexton says he is honoured and proud to captain Ireland for the first time and is now determined to lead a much-changed side to a crucial win against Russia.

World Rugby Player of the Year Sexton was missing on Saturday as Ireland were stunned by Rugby World Cup hosts Japan in Pool A, leaving Joe Schmidt’s men with plenty of work to do in matches against Russia and Samoa.

Schmidt has responded by making 11 changes to his XV, including the return of Sexton, who had received treatment on his thigh in the opening win over Scotland.

The 34-year-old becomes the 106th player to skipper Ireland and is raring to get going.

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