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Page last updated at 20:08 GMT, Sunday, 22 November 2009

Kidney praise for fly-half Sexton

Jonathan Sexton
Jonathan Sexton made an impressive debut for Ireland

Declan Kidney has admitted it will be a difficult choice between Ronan O'Gara and Jonathan Sexton for the fly-half spot against South Africa next week.

Sexton contributed 16 points on his debut by landing five conversions and two penalties against Fiji on Saturday.

"Jonathan showed great maturity but I'm not surprised as last year, when things were not going so well for him, he stuck at it," said the Ireland coach.

Denis Leamy could miss the clash with the Springboks because of injury.

The Munster back-row forward was carried off with an ankle injury but on Sunday Irish management reported the injury was not as bad as first feared.

Ireland have added nine players to their squad ahead of the South Africa match - Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Gavin Duffy, Cian Healy, Kevin McLaughlin, Ronan O'Gara, Devin Toner, Dan Touhy and David Wallace.

Meanwhile Sexton said he was understandably pleased with his debut.

"I'm very happy, but there are always things to work on," he said.

The days of cricket scores in these sorts of matches are behind us

Brian O'Driscoll

"Obviously everyone in the squad wants to start but they are not decisions I am here to make," added the Leinster player.

Skipper Brian O'Driscoll, one of Ireland's try-scorers, reflected that the victory was not as easy as the final scoreline suggested.

"One thing I have learned is that you have to grind down sides and that took us 60 or 70 minutes," he said.

"The days of cricket scores in these sorts of matches are behind us."

Fiji coach Glen Ella was full of praise for Sexton, stressing that he was "impressed by Ireland's number 10".

"He has a bright future for many years to come.

"We actually played much better than 41-6. Obviously Ireland are a quality team, they are very clinical.

"Naturally, we are disappointed but, in saying that, we improved from the Scotland game.

"We did, however, have a problem competing for the full 80 minutes."

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see also
Ireland 41-6 Fiji
21 Nov 09 |  Irish
Sexton to make debut for Ireland
17 Nov 09 |  Irish
Ireland 20-20 Australia
15 Nov 09 |  Irish
O'Driscoll praises Irish attitude
15 Nov 09 |  Irish
Ireland v Australia photos
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v Australia as it happened
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Kidney has faith in his front row
12 Nov 09 |  Irish
Prop Healy wins first Ireland cap
11 Nov 09 |  Irish
Hayes ban reduced to five weeks
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Horan out of Ireland autumn games
06 Nov 09 |  Irish
Henry called into Ireland squad
27 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union

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