Johnny Sexton: Leinster will 'manage' fly-half's game time before Lions Tour

Johnny Sexton in action for Ireland against England on 18 March
Johnny Sexton helped Ireland deny England a second successive Grand Slam earlier this month
European Champions Cup quarter-final: Leinster v Wasp
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 1 April Kick-off: 15:15 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and score updates on the BBC Sport website.

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster says Johnny Sexton's game time will be carefully managed in advance of the British & Irish Lions tour.

Sexton will play for the Irish province in Saturday's Champions Cup quarter-final against Wasps but Lancaster says he will be rested for certain games.

"Johnny won't play every match but he's certainly fit and available for this one," added Lancaster.

Sexton, 31, was last in action in Ireland's win over England on 18 March.

Like all the Leinster starters in Ireland's last Six Nations game, the fly-half was rested for Saturday's narrow Pro12 win over Cardiff Blues.

Former England coach Lancaster also confirmed that Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney hope to recover from their respective back and knee injuries in time for the end of the campaign.

Johnny Sexton celebrates scoring a try for the Lions against Australia in 2013
Johnny Sexton helped the Lions win the series against Australia in 2013

Sexton favourite for Lions fly-half role

Sexton missed the start of Six Nations with a calf problem but made enough of an impact on his return to identify him as favourite for the role of Lions Test fly-half.

Injury appears to be the main obstacle to his chances of featuring against the All Blacks but Lancaster expects him to enjoy a productive run-in.

"He's not had a great run of games this season, but when he has played he's been excellent, particularly in Europe.

"He's just been a bit unlucky with minor injuries - they've been nothing major and hopefully he'll get a decent run now until the end of the season."

Leinster and Wasps have set the pace in their respective leagues and score on average over four tries in each match, pointing to a high-octane showdown at the Aviva Stadium.

"It's great to go into a game where both teams are attack-minded," added Lancaster.

"But with my defence coach's hat on, we need to be conceding less than four tries to win."

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