Johnny Sexton is relishing the prospect of making a difference as Ireland captain in the upcoming Six Nations.

The Leinster out-half was confirmed as captain for 2020 and will lead out Ireland against Scotland on Saturday as the Irish team looks to get the Andy Farrell era off to a good start and put the 2019 Rugby World Cup disappointment behind them.

Sexton is hoping to make a mark as he takes on the lifetime dream of captaining his country.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"It is a lot of extra responsibility but it's one thing that I've wanted to do since I've been ten-years-old," he told RTÉ Sport.

"I've always gone to Ireland games looking at Keith Wood and Brian O'Driscoll.

"These were the captains when I was a kid growing up. I was lucky enough to play with Brian and under Paul [O'Connell] and Rory [Best].

"I always aspired to want other people to want me to do it.

"Everyone in the dressing room would love to be captain of Ireland. It's a special thing.

"Now I want to make the most of it. I want to make a difference while I'm there.

"We obviously said it would be for this campaign, we'll see how we go and I hope that I make a difference in my time in charge."

From Sexton's point-of-view, the early signs behind-the scenes are good as he gets used to working with attack coach Mike Catt, as well as Farrell in his new head coach role.

Sexton alongside assistant coach Mike Catt during an Ireland Rugby press conference

"I've enjoyed working with Mike and I've enjoyed working with Andy in a new role that he's in, and Richie Murphy working closely with those two," he said.

"It's been a good mix and hopefully we can show some of the things we've been working on over the last ten days."

The 34-year-old made his Six Nations debut a decade ago but feels the atmosphere around the games consistently make it stand out from other tournaments and test matches.

"The feeling is different, the atmosphere," he said.

"Some guys go for a coffee a few hours before the game. The atmosphere around Dublin, the atmosphere when you come onto the team bus when you're coming into the Aviva Stadium, it feels different and looks different.

"It's just the expectation and excitement, it's huge. It's how you channel that energy, that nervous energy, into being a good thing for you." 

While Irish fans will hope to see an outstanding performance in Farrell's first game in charge, Sexton is more cautious, pointing to past experiences of slow starts to the tournament.

"I don't think we've ever peaked in our first game," he said.

"Even in the grand slam year we actually started rusty enough against France and pulled it out of the bag at the end and then built through that.

"But the most important thing is getting a win in the first game and that's what all our focus has been on, how can we do that and that's what we've been working on in training.

"It's been a good camp but it doesn't guarantee you anything. That's what I've learned from a few years of my career.

"You can have a great camp, a great build-up and prepare unbelievably well but it doesn't count for anything on Saturday."

Follow Ireland v Scotland (kick-off 4.45pm) on Saturday via our live blog on RTE.ie/Sport and the News Now app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head, Monday at 8pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player. 

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences