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Monday 28 July 2014

No time to relax as Lions hero Sexton gets set for big day

Laura Butler

Published 09/07/2013|04:00

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Jonathan Sexton with his partner Laura Priestley, who he will marry on Friday
Jonathan Sexton with Bond actor Daniel Craig in Sydney

LIONS' hero Jonathan Sexton's feet will barely touch home soil before he is whisked off down the country to attend his wedding rehearsal.

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The out-half, who will marry long-term partner Laura Priestley in Co Limerick on Friday, will be collected from Dublin airport tomorrow when the Irish players arrive home.

While he was on tour with Warren Gatland's squad in Australia, both his bride-to-be and his family remained in Dublin, putting the finishing touches to the wedding, which will be held at Adare Manor.

Sexton's mother, Clare, said they will "hold off" on properly toasting the Lions' success until Thursday, which is also her son's 28th birthday.

"We'll save the celebrations because he'll be exhausted" she said. "It's been a very busy few weeks for him, and the adrenalin in his system will be draining. He'll be wrecked – and there's plenty of excitement ahead.

"We're really looking forward to the wedding. They're together 14 years, so I already feel like Laura is one of my own. She's been coming into our home for a long time."

The triumphant Lions have been partying with family, friends and fans in Sydney following their 41-16 defeat of the Wallabies at the weekend.

CHERISH

Brian O'Driscoll got the chance to celebrate with his wife, Amy Huberman, and their five-month-old daughter, Sadie, after the game.

The actress flew home yesterday, but BOD stayed on to return on the official team flight.

O'Driscoll (34) said that bringing his daughter on to the pitch after the final whistle on Saturday was a moment he will cherish for ever.

"I was able to arrange with my wife beforehand that if we did win, I would be able to go and get Sadie," he said.

"In the past, I have looked at footballers bringing their kids on to the field and wondered what that was all about. But you can't help yourself.

"You are so proud of this little person, you want her to share in your moment for posterity. It definitely added to the occasion."

O'Driscoll said that for him the Lions' series win – their first since 1997 – was bittersweet.

"It was a massive mix of emotions: delight at being part of this historic moment alongside guys you have battled with, but tempered by not playing. It was hard, and I would be lying if I said otherwise," he said.

"But I am a series winner with the British and Irish Lions, albeit if it didn't finish as I would've liked."

Irish Independent

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