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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Johnny Sexton scores the ultimate conversion and pops the question to longtime girlfriend

Claire Murphy

Published 08/10/2012 | 13:59

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The notoriously private Sexton got engaged several weeks ago to his longterm girlfriend, but managed to keep their secret to themselves.

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Johnny (27) is the latest on the Leinster side to crouch, touch, pause and engage - and this time it was with his childhood sweetheart Laura Priestly.



However, it’s not all good news in the love stakes for Leinster after it emerged at the weekend that fullback Rob Kearney (26) has called full time on his relationship with actress Susie Amy (31).



It's understood that the couple were unable to juggle the demands of a long-term relationship with busy careers.



Now Johnny Sexton and Laura Priestly are lining up to be the next Leinster and Ireland couple to walk up the aisle.



Laura is a secondary school teacher from Dublin and the pair have been inseparable since leaving school.



However, unlike many of his teammates, the couple managed to remain low-profile and out of the spotlight throughout the Ireland player's rise to stardom.



The Leinster outhalf, who played a major role in the side's significant victory over Munster at the weekend, was with his fiancée Laura to open the new Debra Ireland Butterfly Garden in Kilashee House, Naas.



The garden is designed as a place of peace and tranquillity to remember everyone who battles with a painful skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) which causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch.



It was the culmination of a long-term dream of sufferer Emma Fogarty to create a garden that would attract butterflies. Children with EB are known as 'butterfly children' as their skin is as delicate as a butterfly's wings.



And the rugby player said that he was encouraged to become involved after meeting Emma (28).



“I first came to do a photocall with Debra for a run they were doing. That was when I met Emma for the first time,” Johnny said.



“I had no intention of getting involved in another charity, but to see what Emma goes through every day and the positivity that she brings - she is an absolute inspiration.”

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