Ireland's Johnny Sexton embracing Six Nations pressure

Ireland star Johnny Sexton insists having one final chance to become a grand slam-winning captain is positive pressure as he edges closer to his probable Six Nations swansong.

Andy Farrell's in-form Ireland are in pole position for the title and on course for a tournament clean sweep going into crunch clashes with Scotland and England.

Ireland have clinched just three grand slams in the history of the championship, with Sexton part of the squad which last achieved the feat back in 2018.

The veteran five-eighth is expected to retire following this year's World Cup but does not feel unduly burdened as he attempts to sign off a stellar Six Nations career in style.

"Pressure is pressure," he said ahead of Sunday's visit to Murrayfield.

"It's been there for the last 10, 15 years in various forms. This is a good pressure.

"You've one shot, you want to do well.

"But at the same time it's not about me, it's about the team and building and trying to do something that we set out to do."

Ireland top the championship standings on the back of bonus-point wins over Wales, France and Italy.

Sexton, who made his Six Nations debut in 2010 and has won the title three times, is set to return to action at Murrayfield after sitting out the round-three win in Rome due to a groin issue sustained against Les Bleus.

The 37-year-old urged his teammates to "cherish" a rare opportunity for grand slam glory.

"It's about embracing it, it's about realising that it's not always like this," he said.

"Going back a couple of years, we'd lost our first two games and we were fighting for a bit of respect, a bit of pride, whatever.

"So it's not always like this. You've got to cherish it. Where else would you rather be? Would you rather be fourth and playing for nothing?"