Ireland head-coach Andy Farrell says he's been impressed by Johnny Sexton's captaincy of the team but stressed that there's no guarantee he'll still be skipper next year.
The 35-year-old former world player of the year succeeded Rory Best as captain at the start of this season's Guinness Six Nations and is set to lead the team into their final two matches in the tournament against Italy and France in October.
“I thought he did a great job, certainly, as captain," Farrell said at a virtual press conference.
I know he has continued to lead through this period as well, as far as we’ve been in touch regarding the leadership group on numerous occasions.
"He’s continued to lead and have a thirst for learning to lead throughout this time as well.
“We were all talking about how sensational he was in the first two games and obviously it didn’t go well for the team and Johnny being a central figure of that, he puts pressure on himself in that regard.
“Out of the three games, how he handled the captaincy, how he handled himself, how he’s learned more about himself throughout that period, I think it’s been invaluable for him."
When quizzed about how long Sexton's tenure as captain is likely to be, Farrell said it'll be dependent on the fitness and form of the Leinster playmaker.
"As all captains know, injury prevention is certainly a key factor and form has to come into it and Johnny is more aware than anyone else.
“You know with Johnny, you know that he’s hungry to keep fighting to get more honours and get better and to keep playing for his country."
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