Ireland captain Sexton expected to be fit for Wales Six Nations opener

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Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is "quite confident" he will be fit for the start of the Six Nations after undergoing surgery on his cheekbone.

The fly-half went under the knife this week to repair damage done during Leinster's United Rugby Championship clash with Connacht last Sunday.

Sexton's injury blow raised concerns over his participation in the Six Nations, but former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman spoke to the number 10 after his procedure and revealed he should be ready to face Wales at the Principality Stadium on February 4.

"Sexton is quite confident he is going to be back for the first round," said Jackman.

He added: "He didn't have to get wired - it was a simpler procedure than we all feared.

"He is due back in four weeks so should be back for the first game against Wales which will be a huge boost for Ireland - he is delighted."

Sexton will retire after the Rugby World Cup in France this year, so this will be his last Six Nations.