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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Tough rugby star Johnny Sexton a 'soft touch' when it comes down to fatherhood

Published 29/09/2016 | 02:30

Rugby ace Johnny Sexton with Tyrone footballer Seán Cavanagh, meeting first-class students of St Louis Infant School, in Rathmines, Dublin.
Photo: Jason Clarke
Rugby ace Johnny Sexton with Tyrone footballer Seán Cavanagh, meeting first-class students of St Louis Infant School, in Rathmines, Dublin. Photo: Jason Clarke

He's known for his discipline on the pitch but rugby ace Johnny Sexton insists he's a "soft touch" when it comes to fatherhood.

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Sexton and his wife Laura have two children, a son Luca (2) and an eight-month-old daughter Amy.

Asked if he was a strict parent, Sexton replied that he was the "fun parent".

"I am the opposite (of a disciplinarian)," the Leinster and Ireland star told the Irish Independent.

"I do enough of that during training. I'd be the soft parent, definitely. I get in trouble over that.

"I am the fun parent, I think. It's easy to do that because I come home from training every day and I have a few hours with them and one day at the weekend, so that's the way it happens."

Sexton and his family returned to Ireland at the end of 2014 after he finished a two season stint with Racing Metro.

The fly-half is happy to be back in Ireland but admits it can be difficult juggling a demanding rugby career with a young family.

"It's hard to come home from training when you are physically tired. It is hard to strike that balance between recovery and rest and also spending time with the kids.

"With more responsibility off the pitch, it can be hard to get the balance right.

"Last year, I struggled and I was injured a lot but I think I've got that balance right now."

Sexton's son Luca began Montessori school this week and according to Sexton, it was an emotional experience.

"He was great going in and then half-way through had a meltdown. We have to keep going with it. He's still very young."

Sexton was speaking at the launch of Super Troopers, Ireland's first Health Homework programme.

Endorsed by the Government's 'Healthy Ireland' framework, Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare encourages practical lifestyle habits to help children and families lead healthy lifestyles.

Irish Independent

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