Johnny Sexton has offered an insight into life in the Irish team's bubble ahead of their delayed Guinness Six Nations fixture against Italy on Saturday, describing it as "worlds apart" from the pre-Covid-19 environment the team were accustomed to when they had convened at the start of the year.

The Ireland captain, who confirmed that he returned to training last Saturday and trained fully on Monday, described the restrictions in place during camp.

"It's worlds apart. Everything is different. We're living together essentially in the same bubble but we still have to maintain social distancing at dinner so we're only three at a table," he said, pointing out that, for example, the majority of meetings now take place outdoors on the pitch rather than the confines of a conference room.

"You're queuing two metres apart. All the restrictions that apply outside essentially are applying to us inside as well so it's not like normal camp.

"But it's the new normal now, we've had a good few days together and we're slowly getting used to it. But we're very lucky and privileged to do what we love to do which is to get a chance to represent Ireland, be together and be able to do our jobs. We're the lucky ones so we can't give out at all about the restrictions that are being put on us within camp."

With Ireland able to go top of the Six Nations table with a bonus point victory over Italy, the Leinster out-half admitted the impetus and pressure will be on Ireland this weekend.

"There's a little bit of extra onus on us this week. Obviously, we need to win the game first and foremost, that's the most important thing.

"It will come down to points difference and bonus points and stuff later in the game but we need to try and win the game first and foremost and putting on a show isn't something we spoke about but putting in a good performance is something that we're very conscious of and want to do."  

Follow Ireland v Italy (3.30pm Saturday) with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app or listen to live commentary on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1. 

Follow Ireland v Italy in the Women's Six Nations (6.30pm) live on RTÉ2 and on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra.