Johnny Sexton aiming to play on the next Lions tour and beyond 1 year ago

Johnny Sexton aiming to play on the next Lions tour and beyond

Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton has said that he aims to be selected for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

Sexton was a tourist on the Lions tour of Australia in 2013 and he also started the second and third Tests of last summer's Lions tour of New Zealand.

The Ireland pivot will be just shy of his 36th birthday by the time the Lions set off for their 2021 tour of South Africa and Sexton said that he thinks there's a lot more left in him after playing more than a decade in professional rugby.

"The World Cup and then to try to get on a third Lions tour," Sexton said on The Ray D'arcy show on RTE Radio 1 on Thursday afternoon.

"I'd be 35, which as an out-half wouldn't be a crazy age to get picked. Obviously there are a lot of young guys coming through and staying ahead of them would be the big challenge. Trying to keep improving is the big motivation for me. I think there is a lot more in me and hopefully I can keep improving over the next number of years."

Sexton also said that he's trying mirror the example set out by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady won the NFL's MVP award last season at the age of 40 and guided the New England Patriots to a second consecutive Super Bowl where the Pats were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sexton said that he's planning to play until he's 40 and has become obsessed with Brady and his longevity in the NFL.

"We have some great influences with the coaches in Ireland and at Leinster with Stuart Lancaster, he has got me obsessed with Tom Brady," Sexton added.

"I didn't know Tom Brady myself about a year ago. I didn't watch any American football but he is the most successful quarterback in the history of the NFL. Stuart Lancaster has got me convinced I'm going to play 'til I'm 40 and my wife is going mad.

"I'm reading up on him and trying to figure out how to prolong my career as long as possible."