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Kobe — Ireland star Johnny Sexton believes a stunning World Cup defeat by Japan could yet prove to be a “blessing in disguise” because it took place during the group stages.

Flyhalf Sexton missed Saturday’s shock in Shizuoka with a thigh injury and could only watch helplessly as tournament hosts Japan won 19-12 to throw Pool A wide open. But the playmaker, who featured in Ireland’s dominant opening 27-3 win over Scotland at Japan 2019, took heart from the fact that his side can still get their World Cup campaign back on track...

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