Johnny Sexton says there is no animosity between him and and Wales boss Warren Gatland for the 2021 Lions snub

Johnny Sexton says there is no animosity between him and and Wales boss Warren Gatland for the 2021 Lions snub

IRELAND'S JOHNNY SEXTON HAS SAID there he doesn't hold a grudge towards new Wales boss Warren Gatland for the 2021 Lions snub ahead of Ireland's game against Wales in the Six Nations this weekend.  

Ireland takes on Wales in Cardiff at 14.15pm on Saturday in the Principality Stadium and for Sexton who was named in the side this week, the Cardiff game has different connotations for the Ireland legend 

At 37-years old, it's testament to Sexton's hunger and desire to continue and search for more honours, but back in 2021 not everyone believed that Sexton could contribute toa rugby side as well as he has 

Back in 2021, Gatland who was head coach of the 2021 British & Lions Tour omitted the Leinster 10 from his squad to face South Africa. 

That would have been Sexton's third tour, but it was not to be.  

The Lions lost the tour to the 2-1 to the world champions and it's something that has been brough up on more than one occasion to Sexton.  

Since then, Sexton has bounced back and continued to cement himself as one of the best rugby players in his role.  

He's been part of Ireland's historic series success in New Zealand and captained Ireland to the top of the world rankings during the past 12 months. 

Gatland and Sexton will meet for the first time since the snub for Saturday's Six Nations opener in Cardiff.  

Despite being left out of the side in 2021, Sexton has managed to get over the disappointment and admitted that he doesn't have any ill feelings towards the legendary Wales coach. 

"It's something that you never get back which is why it hurts so badly at the time," he said at Ireland's training camp in Portugal. 

"But people make their decisions, and, at the time, they probably make them for what they think are the right reasons. 

"I met him at the launch and there was no animosity or anything. I shook hands and said hello. 

"I got on really well with him on the two previous tours, which is probably why it hurt so much. But it is what it is. It's over now, it was a long time ago. 

Gatland was also asked the same question about omitting the Leinster star and said, "It was a big decision for him to be left out of the last Lions tour. That was a tough call,” Gatland said ahead of Wales’ Six Nations clash with Ireland. 

“He has probably proved me wrong in terms of the way he has been playing and the way he has been leading as a player for Ireland. He should be proud of that in terms of what he has achieved in the game because it is pretty special. 

“He will go down as one of the great players of Irish rugby when he does decide to hang up his boots. I think he has been playing some great rugby in the last year or so.”