Johnny Sexton is hoping to use the next few days to get to know his new British & Irish Lions team mates and to brush up on the calls ahead of a likely full debut against the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday night.
The Leinster and Ireland outside half was a second half replacement in the 59-8 win over the Barbarians and admitted afterwards that life hasn’t been easy since he joined up with the Lions a week ago in the wake of Leinster’s RaboDirect PRO12 final win.
“It was difficult to switch into the new calls. Even on the replacements bench we were running through them,” said Sexton.“There is a lot of homework to be done. You always have Leinster calls in your head, even when you got into Ireland camp, but now there are new ones again.
“It’s going to be a big challenge to prepare for the Western Force with such little time. I hadn’t even trained with a couple of guys I ended up on the pitch with, but we wanted to get off to a winning start and to do it with so many points was great.”
Sexton’s first two contributions to the Lions cause were to kick-off after Kahn Fotuali’i had scored the Baa-Baas only try and then moments later to convert Jonathan Davies’ debut try. It may have been a cameo appearance for starters, but he can’t wait for his first start.
“I’m looking forward to getting my first start in the red jersey on Wednesday. It was a dream come true to play for the Lions and to get a game under my belt, especially as my first touch was virtually a first conversion,” added Sexton.
“They were tough conditions and I was wondering why there were so many dropped balls to begin with because on the side they were dry. But when you got on you were just soaked.
“I just got out there, made a few tackles and tried to get a bit of fitness in. The game was pretty much over at that stage and a lot of players were pretty tired, but it was a great way to start the tour with a big win.
“Now it’s back onto the training field to get ready for Wednesday. We’ve only got three days to prepare and some of us haven’t been together that long because of the finals.
“We took this week very seriously and it was a tough training week. The game wasn’t perfect, it was scrappy, but it was the first time we’d been together. But the main priority was to get a win and we did that.
“A few lads spoke briefly about how much of a struggle it had been four years ago and so it was good to get off to such a good start. I think we’ve got a little bit of everything – size, pace and power and we have got some players who can move teams around.”