Henshaw and Murray ruled out of All Blacks clash


Sexton believes that Ireland will need to be close to their best in order to topple the world champions on Saturday and the 33-year-old highlights Steve Hansen's side's ruthlessness on capitalising on opposition mistakes as something his side will need to watch out for this weekend. But the guys that are available will do a great job.

"He'd be a loss for a lot of teams in the world and he'll be a loss for us this week". But if you're out for the period of time he has been out for, it would be a big step up.

One of the stars of the British and Irish Lions series draw with the world champions in 2017, Murray hasn't played since June after suffering a neck injury, but despite team management confirming he was recovering quicker than expected, they said he won't play again in 2018.

"I obviously stayed in touch with Conor a lot over the injury to see how he has been getting on, and all the time (he's been) improving, but I suppose he's just trying to make sure he can get it right from now, and (it) not be an issue going forward", Sexton said of his long-time halves partner. It's a big ask. "Everyone seems to find another 10 percent when they play us because it is a good story if you can beat the All Blacks and everyone gets excited by that".

"So we'll have a great plan, we'll have some experiences of what's worked against them in the past, what hasn't worked and where they are the most risky but then you've got to go out and implement it".

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"When you think about the last three times we've played them, we've had brilliant game plans and the times we've executed them really, really well we've done well. I'm sure those guys will go a step ahead again this week". Hopefully, we'll see him back soon, I'm not sure how soon but obviously a quality player, we'd hope to have him back... I'm not saying that to stir any trouble, I just think he's a real competitor.

"So, yeah, they really expose you when you're loose with the ball and so everything is a bit more important this week".

"If it was one of our guys in the same boat then they'd be putting their hand up".

With the All Blacks having arrived in Dublin for Sunday morning's showdown at Aviva Stadium, the rugby world wait with baited breath for the match-up between the first- and second-ranked sides on the planet.