Saturday 3 December 2016

'I'm the fun parent and a soft touch with my kids,' reveals Irish rugby star Jonny Sexton

Published 29/09/2016 | 07:25

Jonny and Laura Sexton attending the wedding of Devin Toner and Mary Scott. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Jonny and Laura Sexton attending the wedding of Devin Toner and Mary Scott. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Johnny Sexton and wife Laura
Jonathan Sexton and his wife Laura, with son Luca, share a joke with Joe Schmidt during the Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Picture credit: Aurélien Meunier / SPORTSFILE
Johnny Sexton and his wife Laura
Jonny and Laura Sexton after their 2013 wedding
Johnny Sexton and his wife Laura (Right) pictured at O Reilly Hall in Ucd Dublin tonight where he received The Foundation Day Medal at the UCD Foundation Day Alumni Awards In recognition of his outstanding achievements both in provincial and national rugby. Pictures:Brian McEvoy

On the pitch he's known for his discipline, but rugby ace Johnny Sexton insists he's a "soft touch" when it comes to being a dad.

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Sexton and his wife Laura have two children together; 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 said.

Johnny Sexton and wife Laura
Johnny Sexton and wife Laura

"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 in Paris with Racing Metro.

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

Jonathan Sexton and his wife Laura, with son Luca, share a joke with Joe Schmidt during the Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Picture credit: Aurélien Meunier / SPORTSFILE
Jonathan Sexton and his wife Laura, with son Luca, share a joke with Joe Schmidt during the Women's Rugby World Cup in France. Picture credit: Aurélien Meunier / SPORTSFILE

"It's hard to come home from training when you are physically tired... It's 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.

Jonny and Laura Sexton after their 2013 wedding
Jonny and Laura Sexton after their 2013 wedding

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

The south Dublin native says he and his team mates often socialise.

"It's important to meet up - especially for the foreign players who are here - so we would have barbeques and parties with the kids.

"The kids do what kids do - they get on one minute and kill each other the next."

Sexton says he doesn't mind if either of his children follow him into rugby but will encourage them both to lead active lifestyles.

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

Herald

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