Thursday 22 March 2018

Out-half Sexton will stay in France even if O'Gara returns to Munster

Johnny Sexton was In Dublin Airport yesterday where he was unveiled as an Aer Lingus ambassador
Johnny Sexton was In Dublin Airport yesterday where he was unveiled as an Aer Lingus ambassador
Jonathan Sexton of Ireland looks on during the match between Ireland and Scotland

Jonathan Sexton has said he could understand why Ronan O'Gara might leave Racing Metro to pursue a dream coaching job with Munster – but insisted he wouldn't follow him.

"If Ronan did decide to come home to coach Munster I am not leaving the club," said Ireland's star out-half.

"But it would be a big loss for me personally and for the club. Obviously I work very closely with him during the week but also in terms of having him there as a mate."

Sexton is currently top scorer in the Six Nations and he is aware of the potential to be targeted when Ireland launch a Triple Crown tilt against England at Twickenham on Saturday week.

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio, whose Wasps side ended O'Gara's 2004 Heineken Cup semi-final with a late tackle, suggested that England should "get Sexton off the field."

"I don't know what he meant," Sexton responded. "I don't think it was personal. I don't think he is going to come out and fly-hack me.

"I don't think you can get away with foul play especially now that refs can ask to see it on the big screen.

"But in terms of doing it fairly, it is a tactic of every team, you are going to try and make the out-half make as many tackles as he can. You are going to send as much traffic down his channel as you can. If he has been in a hell of a lot of rucks it is going to take it out of him, it is going to be tougher to kick the goals."

In a boost for Ireland, Sexton is unlikely to play a full 80 minutes for Racing this weekend, if at all, with Juan Martin Hernandez likely to continue at pivot.

David Kelly

Irish Independent

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