Home » fofabvlic » IRFU didnt rate me as highly as I rated myself Jonny Sexton

IRFU didnt rate me as highly as I rated myself Jonny Sexton

first_imgJONATHAN SEXTON ENTERED his contract negotiations with the IRFU hoping for a four-year contract that would keep him with Leinster, the team he won three Heineken Cups with, until he was 32.The outhalf, who made his Leinster debut in January 2006, grew frustrated at the stalling nature of the negotiations and, he tells TheScore.ie, felt his only option was to stick to his guns and seek a move abroad in an effort to gain a generous contract he felt his skills deserved. The move to Racing Metro in the French Top 14 has officially gone through and Sexton, as the league’s highest paid player, will ply his rugby trade in Paris next season.Making the switch from his home province to Racing was a wrench ‘of course’, says Sexton, and was both a tough and a strange decision. He said, “I love Leinster but the people that are involved [with contract negotiations] are not involved with Leinster. I don’t deal with Leinster even if, like, they want to keep you for four years. The IRFU, obviously, have a different plan to Leinster and myself and, listen, that’s fine. I’ve no hard feelings towards them. They made the decision. They didn’t rate me as highly as I rated myself, maybe. There was something in the relationship there, where we didn’t see eye to eye. I said that I was going to do something if something else wasn’t done and I stuck to my word. It’s never an easy thing.”“You’ve got a short career,” Sexton added, “and I’m never one for looking only at the contract side of things; there’s a bigger picture. At the same time, you’re an injury away [from possible retirement] and, the longer the negotiations went on, the more eager I was to get something done and sorted out. I felt there was a fantastic opportunity in front of me even though, at the time, I was very sad to leave.“Like I’ve said, it’s a chance to experience a different culture, a different language. Hopefully I love it and hopefully I can achieve success with Racing. That will be my goal when I get there, to win the Bouclier de Brennus [Top 14] and the H-Cup, as they call it, with my new team, when they become my new team.“But all my energies are going towards Leinster at the moment. They’re a club that gave me so much and I want to finish on a high with them.”Sexton the LionSexton hopes to start the First Test against Australia on 22 June. (Pic: INPHO/Billy Stickland)If Leinster can defeat a dangerous Glasgow Warriors side at the RDS on Saturday, Sexton and his teammates will be in the Pro12 Final on 25 May. One week later, the British & Irish Lions play the Barbarians in Hong Kong. As the 27-year-old and Owen Farrell, who may feature for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership Final on 25 May, are the only two Lions outhalves, both should feature against the Baa Baa’s.“It’s a dream come true,” he told TheScore.ie, “I’m absolutely delighted. I found out like everyone else did, on TV. I actually went for kicking practice, as I always do on my day off, and I got a call from [Leinster skills coach] Richie Murphy and he said ‘You’re in’. It was a good way to find out.It was always a dream of mine to play for the Lions. Hopefully, after a big end to the season with Leinster, I can become a winning Lion. You don’t see too many of them knocking around. You have legends in Ireland like Brian and Paul that haven’t got there yet. Hopefully, if I can get picked for the [Test] series, I’ll play a big part in achieving that goal.”Former Lions such as Jeremy Guscott, David Wallace and Stuart Barnes have tipped the Dubliner to start the First Test against Australia, on 22 June, but he is refusing to look too far ahead. Sexton said, “There’s one thing about getting on the plane but how you play on the Lions tour will determine who gets the Lions jersey for the First Test. It is nice to be mentioned [as a starter] but we’re still two months away from the First Test and a month away from our first game.”He has heard the interviews with Lions coach Warren Gatland, with talk of Toulon outhalf Jonny Wilkinson turning down a touring spot but offering his services as a stand-by 10 if required.“From my point of view,” said Sexton, “I’m looking forward to working with Owen and if Jonny comes out that will be a massive bonus. I’ve always admired him as a rugby player and a person; getting the chance to work with him for five or six weeks, I’d love it.”Joe Schmidt should have been the Lions head coach – Stuart BarnesWilliams wins Players’ Player of the Year as Henshaw scoops Nevin Spence Awardlast_img

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