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When Jonathan Sexton went for Keith Gleeson | Gordon D'Arcy

Jonathan Sexton will play his 100th game for Ireland this month. Former Ireland and Leinster team...

Jonathan Sexton will play his 100th game for Ireland this month. Former Ireland and Leinster teammate Gordon D'Arcy joined Wednesday Night Rugby to dissect his career.

Ironically, Jonathan Sexton hasn't had a counterpart at out-half for Ireland since Ronan O'Gara retired.

O'Gara and Sexton followed each other in every conversation and every game for Ireland during the first half of his career. Felipe Contepomi did the same at Leinster. Those rivals and compatriots shaped Sexton's career.

Without both setting the standard and driving Sexton forward, he likely wouldn't be reaching 100 caps for Ireland.

And inevitably, one moment comes to mind when you think back on Sexton's career. No, it's not that drop goal against France, but that one is pretty good too.

Instead, it's his moment with O'Gara for Leinster against Munster.

The 2009 Heineken Cup Semi Final. Gordon D'Arcy scores and Sexton stands over O'Gara.

It's a moment O'Gara has never forgotten and a moment nobody else will ever let him forget. D'Arcy doesn't see that as the defining moment for Sexton though. Leinster players at that time saw those moments all the time in training.

"I had no question marks with him," D'Arcy said.

"One of the reasons why I'd no question mark with him was in that season at some point with Keith Gleeson. Gleeso was struggling with injury at that point and was just being a little bit ratty on the field.

"And Sexton went for him."

Sexton was 24 years old at the time. Young for a rugby player and very young for an out-half.

Gleeson was an openside flanker who during his prime ran like some wingers but still hit like a back-rower. Forwards didn't want to fight Keith Gleeson so a young out half shouldn't have. Especially not a young out-half who wasn't an established leader on the team.

D'Arcy knew Sexton wasn't feigning the fight either.

"We had to literally pull them off each other. If we hadn't of gotten in as we did, punches were going to go. He was going for him and going for blows. For your number 10 to be that passionate about what we were trying to do.

"Keith Gleeson was a pretty impressive physical specimen at the time. He was a big, strong back row. It just didn't phase him. He just went for him."

The talent that Sexton had was always evident so the attitude was a big factor for the older players. They needed to know that he was the player for the big moment so when he got that opportunity to set up that try against Munster, they knew he'd take it.

D'Arcy recognized that Sexton was the ideal crossroads of performance on the field and mindset off of it.

"We got to see all those moments from him. The kicks, the passing, when he stood in for Felipe the ball was where you expected it to be. We had that move where I ended up scoring, that was all built on Brian's fade and the pass being exactly where it needed to be on Brian's fade.

"That pass was on the absolute money and he had no game time to prep that."

Leinster reaped those rewards and then Ireland reaped them for 99 caps. Andy Farrell will be hoping Sexton has 20+ more in him so he can play in the next World Cup.

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