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Guinness PRO12
Leinster hopeful of Sexton return
ESPN Staff
August 21, 2014
Jonathan Sexton is weighing up whether to stay in Paris or return to Ireland © Getty Images
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Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor has said the province would welcome back Jonathan Sexton with open arms if the fly-half decides to return to Ireland.

Sexton is weighing up where to spend next season and says he is close to deciding whether to extend his stay in France's Top 14 with Racing Metro, or to return to Ireland ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

Sexton moved to Racing ahead of the 2013-14 season on a two-year deal with the option of a third, but the fly-half has suggested he could yet decide to move his young family back to Ireland.

O'Connor admitted that, while no official talks have taken place, he would love to see Sexton return to Leinster, where he enjoyed repeated PRO12 and Heineken Cup glory before leaving for France.

"We know that he's off contract," O'Connor told the Irish Times. "Those conversations have been ongoing. He speaks regularly with a lot of the guys in our environment.

"We've still got good links with Johnny. We'd be very keen to have a conversation if he chooses to come back.

"Of course you'd like him back. He's a world-class player and he's proven that across the course of his career."

O'Connor's assistant Richie Murphy, who has worked closely with Sexton as a kicking coach with both Leinster and Ireland, echoed those words and said the 29-year-old would always be welcome back at the province.

"Obviously it will be Johnny's decision at the end of the day, but from our point of view he's a world-class player, he's a Leinster boy - and I think he still is a Leinster boy at heart," Murphy said. "I think it would be fantastic if we could get him home and hopefully that's the way it will go.

"We've had some texts and some small chats but we haven't actually been talking about the situation. Because of the relationship I don't really want to get involved with that stuff.

"I'm better off just leaving that to him, his agents and the people who are looking after his contracts."

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