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Johnny Sexton says he's fit and ready to go for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales this Sunday afternoon in Cardiff.

The Ireland captain had been a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury in the first half of Leinster's PRO 14 win against Munster in January.

Sexton told OTB last week that he was confident of returning in time for the game in Cardiff, and he has now stepped up that recovery, taking a full part in today's squad training session.

"Yeah, trained fully today with the group thankfully, I got through that ok. All available for selection, and the group trained well today. The lads had a good hit out at the weekend, and we're looking forward to the weekend now," he said.

"I suppose it only feels like yesterday since we were finishing up the Autumn Nations Cup, and disappointing end to the Six Nations, the last campaign for us.

"In many ways it's been good, we hit the ground running, it doesn't feel like we've gone backwards, it feels like we've taken off from where we left the last campaign which is great."

Johnny Sexton | Wales v Ireland

Ireland will be looking to end a poor record at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with their last Six Nations win away to the Welsh coming in 2013.

However, as Sexton was quick to point out, Ireland will be hoping to avoid a repeat of that year's fortunes, when they began their season in impressive fashion in Cardiff, which proved to be Ireland's only win of the competition, leading to the departure of Declan Kidney as head coach.

"It's a tough place to go, all Welsh teams are very tough to play against at all times, but especially in Cardiff, there's not many teams that go there and get a win, we haven't done it in a long time.

"The last time we won it, we ended up having an injury crisis and came second last, so it wasn't a great campaign even though we got it off to the best possible start. Hopefully we can start things in the same fashion and then keep things going," he said.

The major criticism of Ireland's performances in the last season has been their lack of a cutting edge in attack. Andy Farrell's side were the joint highest try-scorers in the 2020 competition, but question marks still remain over their ability to break down the best defences; as exhibited in the defeats to England and France.

Sexton says finding the killer instinct is something they are keen to work on.

"We probably need to be a bit more clinical. I think we scored the most tries in last year's Six Nations, but we need to be more clinical. We created a lot in a lot of those games - if we talk abut the last campaign - and we didn't quite finish them. The top teams do take their chances.

"We need to get better, especially when you consider the French game - the one that cost us ultimately - we had a lot of entries into their 22 and didn't come away with anything, We spoke about being a bit more ruthless, and hopefully that will lead to a few more tries," he added.

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Andy Farrell Irish Rugby Johnny Sexton Six Nations 2021

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