Victory over Jones' side in the final game wrecked England's grand slam bid (five wins from five) in the process.
Sexton was mobbed by his teammates on the Stade de France field, and Schmidt hailed the British and Irish Lions star for fending off fatigue and cramp to seal Ireland's triumph. "That's the sort of character that can win a Six Nations".
Follow our live blog of France v Ireland (4.45pm kick-off) on RTÉ Online and the RTÉ News Now App, or listen to commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.
In 2018, Tourism Ireland in France will undertake a targeted programme of promotions.
"As referees you don't ref week in week out in Test matches like you do as a player so it takes a lot longer for referees to arrive at that milestone - if it comes along it would be absolutely special, there is no doubt about that".
"There are so many players involved, we played a number of phases , it was hard to clear out the ball a number of times".
Amongst all the talk of potential Six Nations victor and losers, Lovelace went on to discuss the current state of rugby union betting, and what can be done to ensure it grows and increases its appeal: "Betting on rugby union and Six Nations has improved over the past few years but there is a long way to go for it to compete and rival the likes of football, tennis, darts and other sports that have a far higher level of activity from our punters".
Schmidt explained: "We felt he went really well against Montpellier and we are looking forward to seeing what he will deliver".
Past year saw the sacking of coach Guy Noves, who led France to just seven victories in 21 games.
Scotland improved immeasurably under former coach Vern Cotter and Gregor Townsend has kept them on the same path over the a year ago.
Ireland host Italy in Dublin next weekend, while France travel to Scotland - who were well beaten 34-7 against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Mike is now leading the coaching at the Mike Phillips Rugby Academy in Dubai. All we can do is plan the best we can for what we feel they're going to deliver and that we look to the individuals.
So teams would like to grow in self-belief by doing well in the Six Nations.
Just enjoy it now and I'd say that to the players - let pundits, predictors and bookmakers work out what's going on there. In truth, predictions nearly go out the window with France, particularly as this is the opening match under a new management team. Sean O'Brien's injury was originally thought to be a huge blow to Schmidt's side but Josh van der Flier stepped up today before he exited the fray late in the first half with an injury.
"They're (Aki &Stockdale) really exited about getting that opportunity and I don't think there's a better place to be than in-between Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw, if you're making a debut in the Six Nations".