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Sexton challenge excites Foley as Australia prepare for Ireland

Sexton challenge excites Foley as Australia prepare for Ireland

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Australia star Bernard Foley is relishing the chance to face Johnny Sexton as the Wallabies head to Dublin to take on Ireland this weekend.

Sexton missed Ireland’s victory against Fiji in Round 2 of the Autumn Nations Series but has since returned to training and is expected to make what would be a 110th appearance for his country.

The 37-year-old was earlier this week revealed as one of four nominees for World Rugby’s men’s player of the year, a reminder that he still sits at the very top of the game.

And as Australia look to rebound following consecutive defeats against France and Italy, Foley is looking forward to taking on his opposite number – and an Ireland side that currently top the world rankings.

Foley, 33, said: “It just shows that age is just a number, doesn’t it? The thing about Johnny, he’s ultra-competitive and he must be doing everything right to keep himself at the top of the game.

“He’s looking after his body, he’s still got world-class game management and skills so to see him doing it is great and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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“I’ve got to try and make the most of every game and this one is a special one, testing yourself against the best in the world.

“Ireland have been the benchmark of consistency for a number of years and that’s probably why they’re No.1. That’s a great challenge for us, as a team we’re searching for that consistency.

“They’re going to be an incredibly difficult challenge but we’re embracing the opportunity against the best.”

Each of the Wallabies’ contests in this Autumn Nations Series have been narrow ones, losing by just one point against both France and Italy in Rounds 1 and 2 respectively, after previously beating Scotland by the same margin.

Saturday night’s meeting at the Aviva Stadium will be the first time since the two sides have met since 2018, where Ireland won the decider in a 2-1 summer test series triumph.

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