Wednesday 26 November 2014

Jonny Sexton reveals how he has felt like "going home"

Published 29/01/2014 | 13:09

24 November 2013; Ireland's Jonathan Sexton. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Jonathan Sexton

Johnny Sexton admitted he has felt like quitting Racing Metro and returning to Ireland since his summer move from Leinster.

The 28-year-old, who joined Racing Metro on a big-money deal this season, has struggled to make an impact in the Top 14 and revealed that it has been very tough on him and his wife Laura.

Ireland open their RBS 6 Nations campaign by hosting Scotland in Dublin on Sunday, with Sexton expected to lead the backline.

Despite his big-money move to France last summer, Sexton hailed the IRFU for securing Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien on new contracts.

Racing Metro currently sit outside the top six places in the Top 14 and Sexton admits that he has found the going tough.

"There have been some games where I thought, 'I'm walking in on Monday and telling them I'm going home'," he told the BBC.

"Then there's other games where I've come off thinking 'right, this is the start of it, that's brilliant, and you could be here forever'.

"That's the same with everything, there's ups and downs along the way.

"Me and my wife probably struggled with it at the start.

"It's pretty easy to settle into the club because everyone's doing their best to make you feel at home.

"But the more simple things, like going round to the shop, you don't know where it is, going to get petrol - you don't where that is, things like that.

"Everything's just a stress, so it was tough going at the start."

Racing Metro also exited the Heineken Cup very tamely finishing bottom of Pool 4 with just a win and a draw from six games.

Munster duo Paul O'Connell and Keith Earls and Ulster hooker Rory Best have signed new IRFU deals, to complement the decisions of Heaslip and O'Brien to spurn big money in France.

Sexton revealed his Ireland team-mates sought his advice about a move to France, but he admitted he was pleased to see the IRFU tie them down.

"I think it's great that they're staying, the IRFU, fair play to them, they've really stepped up to the plate," he said.

"I think it's important for Irish rugby that guys stay.

"I sound like a hypocrite, but that's the bottom line."

In other news, Eoin Reddan has been forced out of this weekend's clash with Scotland because of a calf injury and has been replaced in the squad by Leinster team mate Isaac Boss.

By Nick Purewal

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