Racing Metro look likely to recall Jonathan Sexton
Racing have a number of injuries and absentees at outhalf for trip to Biarritz
Jonathan Sexton: Decison will be made today.
It looks increasingly likely that Racing Metro 92 will recall Jonathan Sexton for Saturday’s Top 14 fixture away to Biarritz.
The Parisian club have a number of injuries and absentees at outhalf with Sexton’s understudy Jonathan Wisniewski unavailable due to a quad strain while Benjamin Dambielle must undergo a fitness test this afternoon.
Wisniewski has been injured since September 21st. Dambielle was an unused replacement in Racing’s 16-12 derby victory over Stade Francais last weekend.
As the IRB international window does not start until next Monday, Sexton’s primary employers are within their rights to insist he returns from Ireland camp.
Juan Martin Hernandez, while an internationally recognised outhalf but mainly employed at fullback for Racing, has also been called up to the touring Argentina squad.
However, Racing have consistently gone with Sexton at number 10 this season, using him over 13 consecutive weeks. This prompted Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt to voice concern over his welfare.
“A lot of guys are surprised to see the amount of minutes he has played,” said Rob Kearney yesterday. “And I think that is a big thing. If you want to look after your body and prolong your career more often than not staying in Ireland is the best thing for you.
“If you want to make a few extra quid, which is important for guys as well because it is a short career and very few players will earn the same amount of money that they do when they retire. Looking at it from that side of things maybe the move to France is the best option.
“If you are making that trip to France you do need to be pretty durable but, in saying that, if you go to the bigger clubs – Toulon, Toulouse, Clermont – with their massive strength in depth, there is going to be pretty good rotational policy there so you won’t be playing that many games. There is a balance there.”
On Sexton’s reintegration with the Ireland squad this week, Kearney added: “He’s glad to be home. He’s looking forward to November and getting back to the lads. He has settled in really well (in Paris). I think the first few months are always the most difficult when you’ve gone to a new club, a new country. ”
His performances on the field reflect as much as he leads most statistics at the Parisian club, with 31 successful kicks at goal and topping the carry count with 450 metres from eight line breaks.
Confirmation of Sexton’s departure or whether he can rest this weekend will be revealed this afternoon.
Schmidt has already released Andrew Trimble for Ulster’s trip to Llanelli on Saturday while Donncha O’Callaghan is available for Munster’s game against the Ospreys at Thomond Park.
Several more players will join up with their provincial squads after today’s training session in Carton House.