Grass isn’t always greener for Johnny Sexton
“There’s been some games when I walk in on the Monday morning and I’m telling them (Racing Metro) ‘I’m going home,’ that’s how I’ve felt”
Jonathan Sexton during Ireland training at Carton House this morning. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
There have been times this season that Johnny Sexton has thought about calling it quits in France, the Ireland outhalf has admitted in an interview with the BBC.
The 28-year-old told BBC Sport that during the low points of Racing Metro 92’s undulating campaign – they finished bottom of their Heineken Cup Pool with just one win and are currently eighth in the Top 14 - he expressed a desire to leave Paris.
“There’s been some games when I walk in on the Monday morning and I’m telling them ‘I’m going home,’ that’s how I’ve felt,” said Sexton. “There’s other games where I’ve felt ‘this is the start of it, it’s brilliant and I could be here forever.’ There’s ups and downs along the way and I suppose you just have to make the most of it.”
For Sexton to return to Leinster next season would require the IRFU buying him out of his contract with Racing (and then paying him a significant salary). In August he began a lucrative two year contract with the option of a third season.
“Me and my wife really struggled with it at the start,” he 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 (in France) 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 has also been a concern about the amount of game time Sexton is exposed to in France, as Ireland coach Joe Schmidt noted in November when the player injured a hamstring against Australia. Sexton returned to the Ireland camp last weekend with stitches in a head wound having orchestrating Racing’s victory over Toulouse.