| 13.5°C Dublin

HOMESICK SEXTON NEARLY QUIT PARIS

IRELAND rugby star Johnny Sexton has admitted that he and his wife Laura struggled with life in France.

The former Leinster outhalf told how he regularly thought about pulling the plug on his time with Racing Metro as they plummeted to the bottom of their Heineken Cup group.

And he said he was so stressed by the lifestyle and the language barrier, he considered going back to Dublin.

"We really struggled with it at the start," the 28-year-old added. "It's pretty easy to settle into a club because everyone is doing their best to make you feel at home.

"But just the simple things like going to the shop and you don't know where it is, or getting petrol when you don't know how to ask for it – it was a stress and tough going.

"There's been some games when I walk in on the Monday morning and I'm telling them, 'I'm going home'. There's other games where I've felt, 'This is the start of it, it's brilliant and I could be here for ever'. There's ups and downs along the way and I suppose you just have to make the most of it."

ADVICE

He also revealed his Ireland team-mates had asked for advice about moving to France, but then admitted that he was pleased to see the IRFU tie them down.

"I think it's great that they're staying," Johnny added. "The IRFU, fair play to them, they've really stepped up to the plate. I think it's important for Irish rugby that guys stay. I sound like a hypocrite, but that's the bottom line."

Sexton returns to Ireland for the Six Nations campaign this weekend, but there are concerns about the amount of game time he received in France.

Sexton has also been struggling with a hamstring injury, but he believes he is ready for the tournament.

cmurphy@herald.ie


Privacy