Munster-Leinster derby fell victim to Ireland's player welfare plan

Sexton’s withdrawal gave clash between rivals the feeling of an elite training session

Johnny Sexton was taken off after 60 minutes of Leinster’s defeat to Munster with his side trailing by six points. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Johnny Sexton was taken off after 60 minutes of Leinster’s defeat to Munster with his side trailing by six points. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The Masterplan

The splendid isolation of Munster versus Leinster in Thomond Park no longer exists. Not after the substitutions of Johnny Sexton (60 minutes with Leinster trailing 16-10) and Joey Carbery (71 minutes, 19-10). Neither being tactical nor down to injury.

Rather than Irish rugby’s great rivalry, we witnessed the highest grade training session imaginable.

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