Leinster not aware of any talks over Johnny Sexton’s return home

Management say they would be centrally involved in any negotiations

 Jonathan Sexton celebrates scoring the opening try against France  with Devin Toner. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Jonathan Sexton celebrates scoring the opening try against France with Devin Toner. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 01:00

Leinster are unaware of any negotiations taking place between the IRFU and Johnny Sexton with a view of bringing the Racing Metro outhalf back to Ireland.

It was reported yesterday in French newspaper Midi Olympique that talks were taking place between the two parties, while Brian O’Driscoll said a few weeks ago that it would be a boost for Irish World Cup 2015 chances if the IRFU were able to buy Sexton out of his contract with the French club. The former Leinster player signed a two year deal from the beginning of this season.

But Leinster manager Guy Easterby has reiterated that the province would be centrally involved if any such talks about their former player making a return were taking place.

“It’s not something I’m aware of,” said Easterby. “An awful lot would have to happen for it to happen. Racing have let [Jonathan] Wisniewski go to Grenoble who was their first-choice 10 before Johnny went there.

“I know they have [Juan Martin] Hernandez as well, but your man [Jacky Lorenzetti] had pretty deep pockets and Johnny has made the commitment to them for a couple of years.

“I don’t see that that’s going to change and I certainly have no idea about the union sitting down with Johnny.”


Expectations
As Sexton has always been a Leinster player expectations would be that the RDS club would be first to know if there was any move.

“I hope so,” added Easterby. “If there’s a meeting going on, I’d expect to hear about it. I just think that, Johnny being Johnny, he has made a commitment over there and it is probably something he wants to follow through. There is too much that would have to go on to enable that to happen, but you never know.”

The Leinster manager added that Luke Fitzgerald is again hopeful of playing this weekend. His ongoing injury trouble appears to have cleared although he admitted that it is an ongoing issue.

“You’re probably sick of hearing it, but we’re hopeful he’ll be available this weekend,” said Easterby “They’ve done one thing, we’ve seen improvement and he’s played. Then he’s done something in the captain’s run that put him out of the Glasgow game.

“So, hopefully we’re getting to the bottom of it. He trained well today, it is just frustrating for Luke because he has missed out on some big games.”

Prop Jack McGrath is doubtful after injuring his collar bone in Ireland’s game against France at the weekend.

“I haven’t heard the official results from the scan,” added the former Ireland scrumhalf.

“He hurt his collarbone, but I’ve heard nothing more than him going for a scan. I’d be very hopeful he wouldn’t be out of those two games.”

Ulster prop, Callum Black, suffered an ankle injury in Friday’s win over Scarlets and will undergo an MRI scan later in the week. In the same match Ruan Pienaar sustained a shoulder injury and will not be available for selection for the match against Edinburgh at the weekend.

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