Johnny Sexton inspired by Tom Brady as he targets Lions tour of South Africa

Johnny Sexton is looking towards a third British & Irish Lions' tour in South Africa in 2021. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton has become "obsessed" with New England Patriots QB Tom Brady as he targets a place on a third British & Irish Lions tour.

Sexton, 32, revealed that Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster had alerted him to Brady as he instilled a belief in the playmaker that he can play at the top for as long as the legendary NFL star.

Brady will turn 41 in August but confirmed this week that he would play on for at least one more season -- his 18th in the NFL -- at the Patriots.

"We have some great influences with the coaches in Ireland and at Leinster with Stuart Lancaster, he has got me obsessed with Tom Brady," Sexton told RTE.

"I didn't know Tom Brady myself about a year ago. I didn't watch any American football but he is the most successful quarterback in the history of the NFL. Stuart Lancaster has got me convinced I'm going to play 'til I'm 40 and my wife is going mad.

"I'm reading up on him and trying to figure out how to prolong my career as long as possible."

Sexton is looking for his fourth Champions Cup-winners medal when the Irish province face Racing 92 next week but his long-term goals include making it to South Africa for the Lions tour in three years' time.

"The World Cup and then to try to get on a third Lions tour," he said. "I'd be 35 [at the next Lions tour], which as an out-half wouldn't be a crazy age to get picked. Obviously there are a lot of young guys coming through and staying ahead of them would be the big challenge.

"Trying to keep improving is the big motivation for me. I think there is a lot more in me and hopefully I can keep improving over the next number of years."