All Blacks will tar­get Sex­ton warns Best

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - ■ By NICK CAIN

JOHNNY Sex­ton is a Lions ca­su­alty in wait­ing ac­cord­ing to for­mer Eng­land coach Dick Best.

Best, who presided over two vic­to­ries over New Zealand in 1993 – the first as Lions as­sis­tant coach when the tourists won 20-7 in Welling­ton dur­ing a cliffhanger se­ries, and the sec­ond when Eng­land beat them 15-9 a few months later at Twick­en­ham – says fly-half Sex­ton is sim­ply too in­jury-prone to sur­vive the bru­tal 2017 tour itin­er­ary.

The Ir­ish play­maker is a cer­tainty to be named in the 2017 tour party to New Zealand to be an­nounced in Lon­don on Wed­nes­day. Best told The Rugby

Pa­per in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view that the Le­in­ster 10’s li­tany of in­juries since he starred in the Lions se­ries win in Aus­tralia four years ago, as well as his courage, make him a li­a­bil­ity.

“He won’t last the tour – and that’s if he doesn’t get hurt be­fore the tour starts. Sex­ton is a brave boy who will not pull out of tack­les.”

Best says that should Sex­ton get on the plane to New Zealand with­out any fur­ther mishaps over the next six weeks he will have a tar­get painted on his back as soon as he steps onto the tar­mac in Auck­land.

“The New Zealan­ders know Sex­ton is im­por­tant to the Lions, and so I wouldn’t be sur­prised if they tar­geted him. They’ve

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