Monday 22 January 2018

Sexton: I learned about O’Gara’s Racing move from

Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara, Autumn International 2012, Ireland v South Africa
Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara, Autumn International 2012, Ireland v South Africa

JONNY Sexton has revealed that he learned about Ronan O’Gara joining Racing Metro from

In his new book, Becoming a Lion, Sexton writes that he was warming up for the Amlin Challenge Cup with Leinster last May when the news was confirmed.

“I found out around three hours before kick-off when I walked into the physio room and people started giggling. The Independent had confirmed it on Twitter – a two year deal, same as me...

“Then I heard  it from the horse’s mouth. He sent me a picture of himself and Monsieur Lorenzetti, shaking hands, big smiles! He’s a gas man. Three hours before an Amlin final and he’s sending me this!”

Sexton and O’Gara famously had a very public rivalry for Ireland’s No 10 shirt for several years before O’Gara’s retirement last year.

Both were first choices for the position for their provinces and they had been tussling for the jersey since Sexton’s emergence for Leinster in 2009.

However, the pair also had a few very public dust-ups in the early stages of Sexton’s senior career with Leinster.

When Sexton was a rookie out-half for Leinster, the pair clashed in Thommond Park in 2009. 

Months later, in the 2009 Heineken Cup Semi-Final between Leinster and Munster in Croke Park, Sexton was photographed screaming in O’Gara’s face.  It was seen by many to signify a very public rivalry between the two.

Just as O’Gara announced his retirement from Munster at the end of last season, the rivalry took on another twist when it was revealed that the pair would be working together at Sexton’s new employers, Racing Metro.

In an interview with Sean O’Rourke this morning, the Racing Metro star revealed that he regretted the dust ups that the pair had in the past.

“I have always held him in a very high regard but I didn’t always show that.”

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