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14th Oct 2023

Johnny Sexton in floods of tears as he gives one last interview as an Ireland player

Lee Costello

Johnny Sexton

An unfitting ending for an Irish hero.

Johnny Sexton was on the brink of tears as he gave one last emotional interview as an Ireland player following their defeat to the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter final.

Ireland started slow, as New Zealand soared into a lead, but in typical Irish fashion they dragged themselves back into the game, and pushed their opponents right to the end.

In an enthralling game, the All blacks defensive display of brilliance is what won it in the end, and as the curtain closes on Ireland’s World Cup, so does it on Sexton’s incredible career at international level.

Visibly very emotional, and fighting back the tears, he gave one last interview to ITV as an Ireland player.

“Look I’m very proud of the boys, the nation, the country, we couldn’t have done anymore really. We got over the line there towards the end, and it’s just fine margins and they kind of sucker punched us with a few tries.

“We had to work really hard for our scores, and that’s what champions do, they are a great team, we knew they would be a massive challenge, and we fell just short.”

“It’s been amazing (to wear the ireland jersey) this last six weeks has been a dream, with this group, these fans, I’m just gutted we couldn’t do it for them.

“You got to work hard for fairytale endings and we didn’t get it, and that’s just life. We didn’t leave any stone unturned, we ticked every box, we trained the house down, and I think after a slow enough start, we played pretty well tonight.

“A few decisions, a few bounce of the balls – fair play to the All Blacks, they are a very good team, and they are well coached so fair play to them.”

It goes without saying that Ireland, and indeed the sport of rugby will miss having such a superstar in these tournaments, but all good things come to an end.

They just don’t always come with a happy ending.

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