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25th Nov 2018

Bizarre scenes as Rory Best reads out Johnny Sexton’s World Player of the Year speech

Patrick McCarry

Sexton speech

You don’t see that every day.

  • Coach of the Year – Joe Schmidt
  • Team of the Year – Ireland
  • Player of the Year – Johnny Sexton

That was pretty darn close to a green sweep for Ireland as the team, their coach and their outhalf all took home top prizes at the World Rugby awards.

Schmidt was the first green light to go on the board, with Peter O’Mahony accepting the accolade on his coach’s behalf.

Up next was Rory Best as he thanked all involved with the team, the Irish supporters and the partners of the players for making 2018 such a memorable year.

The final prize of the night was for the Best Player and Johnny Sexton clinched that. The Leinster and Ireland No.10 headed up to the stage but he was joined by Best, his captain.

“Johnny has got too big time to speak for himself,” Best joked to Alex Payne, “so I’m up here to speak on his behalf!”

Sexton then managed a few hoarse words:

“I literally can’t speak properly!”

The Ulster hooker went on to explain exactly why he was speaking for Sexton. “Apologies,” he began, as he read Sexton’s speech.

“I have a throat infection. Laryngitis. Lost my voice.

“Thank you to my teammates and coaches. If a number 10 wins an award like this it is down to the team around him and his coaches making it easier. We have some of the best coaches in the world and we are led superbly by Rory and Pete O’Mahony.

“I would also like to thank my wife Laura who has been with me from the start. We have three young kids and she does absolutely everything to allow me to concentrate on the day job. I wouldn’t have been able to have the season I have had without her.”

Sexton, via Best, also praised the other players that were nominated for the Best Player award too.

A speechless Johnny Sexton.

You don’t see (or hear?!) that every day.

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