Jones - Ireland spoilt at No 10

Wales fly-half believes O'Gara and Sexton offer different threats

By Elliot Ball.   Last Updated: 01/03/11 6:53pm

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O'Gara: Set to face Wales

O'Gara: Set to face Wales

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Wales fly-half Stephen Jones has entered Ireland's fly-half debate and argues they are spoilt for choice in the number 10 department.

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"The bottom line is they're both very good payers, but they have contrasting styles."
Stephen Jones Quotes of the week

Ronan O'Gara is poised to retain the fly-half jersey for the RBS 6 Nations clash with Wales on Saturday week after his man-of-the-match performance against Scotland last time out.

But Johnathan Sexton is breathing hard down O'Gara's neck for the chief kicking role after being handed the role in Ireland's opening two 6 Nation matches and being a fixture of the autumn internationals.

And Lions veteran Jones, who is embroiled in his own battle to don the number 10 shirt for the Millennium Stadium clash, believes the competition for places can only help Ireland's cause.

Top drawer

"I know what Ronan can do," said the 33-year-old Scarlets performer. "He's a great kicker, kicks the ball out of hand very well and marshals the team well.

"He's got good competition from Sexton, there's a good balance between the two of them.

"The coaches have gone with Sexton of late but O'Gara did very well when he got the opportunity against Scotland.

"They're both great players, but have different styles. It's great for Irish rugby to have horses for courses like that.

"I played against Sexton at provincial level. He compliments the centres very well and of course the Leinster centres are the Ireland centres.

"They have a lot of good moves and he's very sharp in the way he plays.

"Ronan marshals a game more than Jonny, who likes to keep the ball in hand.

"The bottom line is they're both very good payers, but they have contrasting styles.

"Playing with Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll for Leinster week in, week out definitely helps Sexton.

"But Ronan's last few performances for Ireland have been top drawer."

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