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All Blacks coach takes dig at Johnny Sexton after referee controversy

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New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster has taken a dig at Ireland's Johnny Sexton, after the fly-half's comments regarding the referee appointed for this weekend's clash sparked controversy. 

Sexton was holding nothing back when he expressed his wariness regarding English referee Wayne Barnes, claiming that both he and his team were right to question the appointment after past issues between both parties. 

Sexton also went on to state that he believed his side would have to be on their best behaviour for the clash with the All Blacks, or risk falling foul of the English referee once again. 

"We pride ourselves on our discipline" Sexton told journalists. "We have come on the wrong side of Wayne Barnes in the past, so it is something we are going to have to look at even more so this week".

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, however, took a very different view of things, coming to the referee's defence whilst also firing at dig at Sexton over his own history. 

"I'm not sure why he says that, Barnes is a great ref," Foster told the Irish Independent, per Rugby Lad

"Johnny seems to give them [the referees] a bit of advice on the part too, so I'm sure he will carry on doing that."

Ireland v Argentina - International Friendly

Sexton also fell foul of England head coach Eddie Jones last week, following team-mate Owen Farrell's controversial tackle on South African full-back Andrew Esterhuizen. 

"If he was Johnny Sexton, then we'd be able to complain about him, but because he's Owen Farrell, he's allowed to be hit late" Jones told journalists. 

When Jones' comments were put to Sexton, however, the Irishman seemed to find the humour in the moment.

"I don't know how I was mentioned at an England and New Zealand press conference, it still baffles me. I didn't think we were playing England until February!"

Topics:
Ireland Rugby
Rugby Union
Johnny Sexton
Owen Farrell

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