Sexton admits IRFU contract stance reduced him to tears

Outhalf says if he had been offered deal last summer he would have accepted it

Jonathan Sexton in action for Racing Metro. Photograph: Xavier Leoty/AFP/Getty Images

Jonathan Sexton in action for Racing Metro. Photograph: Xavier Leoty/AFP/Getty Images

Sun, Sep 22, 2013, 13:11

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton has admitted that the IRFU’s attitude to his new contract negotiations “pissed me off” and that he was reduced to tears just before the 2013 Six Nations campaign as a result of the long-running saga.

The former Leinster player joined Racing Metro in the summer, turning down an offer from the IRFU to take up a lucrative move to the Paris club, which is worth €624,000 per year.

Sexton came off the bench in last night’s Top 14 clash against Bordeaux-Begles, scoring his first try for the club in a 26-19 victory.

In extracts from his new book Becoming a Lion, Sexton outlines his upset over contract negotiations with the IRFU, which started last September.

Talking about the Union’s initial offer, Sexton writes: “I think I know what the Union think: Jonny will eventually settle for what we’re offering him. He’s going nowhere. That attitude pisses me off.”

A new offer was put to Sexton and his agent Fintan Drury in January ahead of the Six Nations, one that also irked the player.

“If they’d come to me with this offer last summer, I would have grabbed it. Why did they wait this long? Why insult me with the first offer and get negotiations off to a bad start?”

When Racing entered the picture, Sexton had his agent contact the IRFU to tell them that he was not expecting them to match the offer but to “give us your best shot”.

No new deal was forthcoming according to Sexton and the IRFU asked the player if he wanted to add anything to a statement relating to the contract negotiations that they were about to release.

In camp ahead of the Six Nations, Sexton describes his reaction in the book.

“I told [them] that I wanted nothing to do with it. I went to my room, locked the door, lay on the bed and cried.”

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