Ireland centre Jared Payne has insisted that international teammate Johnny Sexton is currently one of the best players in the world.
The New Zealand-born star has played alongside another of those considered among the elite in Dan Carter, although he believes that Sexton is arguably slightly ahead at this moment.
"Johnny is a world-class player, one of the best 10s - if not the best - in the world at the moment," Payne is quoted as saying by The Telegraph. "In terms of his range of skills and his game control, he is right up there with those players I have played with and against."
When asked specifically how he compares to Carter, a man with whom Payne has previously spent a season at Canterbury Crusaders, the 29-year-old added: "They're both very similar. They are pretty relaxed and get their message across. They are able to control a game incredibly well and are two players who always have time on the ball."
Sexton is a major doubt for Ireland's crunch Six Nations meeting with Wales in Cardiff next week due to a hamstring injury sustained in the 19-9 win over England last time out.body check tags ::