Sexton's Six Nations participation cast into doubt as Leinster confirm surgery

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Johnny Sexton might face a race to be fit in time to feature in the Six Nations after it was confirmed he will undergo surgery on a facial injury.

The captain, who has played for his country 109 times, is set to retire after the World Cup in France later this year.

That means the upcoming Six Nations campaign, which Ireland start with a trip to face Wales on February 4, will be his last.

However, the 37-year-old fly-half's participation is in doubt after he suffered a cheekbone injury during Leinster's United Rugby Championship clash with Connacht on Sunday.

Leinster confirmed Sexton was due to have a procedure on Tuesday and will be assessed further following the operation.

Ireland are top of the world rankings and finished second in last year's Six Nations, four points behind champions France.

After facing Wales, they take on France in Dublin before travelling to Italy on February 25.

Andy Farrell's team play Scotland on March 12 and round off their Six Nations campaign against England six days later.