Sexton ready for 'great adventure'
May 26, 2013
Fergus McFadden and Jonathan Sexton chair coach Joe Schmidt around the RDS following their PRO12 final triumph over Ulster © PA Photos
Departing Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton insists he is ready for the next 'great adventure' after bringing the curtain down on his six-year spell at the RDS with the PRO12 title.
Sexton steered his side to a narrow 24-18 victory over Irish rivals Ulster to complete a league and Challenge Cup double in what was his last appearance for the province ahead of a high-profile switch to French giants Racing Metro.
"I've got a great adventure ahead of me and I'm going to give it all for my new team. I don't want to insult [Racing] but I also want to let everyone know what Leinster meant to me for the last few years," the 27-year-old told the Irish Times.
In an intriguing parting shot, Sexton hinted that if he had his way then he would not be heading to the Top 14 where he is set to become the highest paid player in the league.
"I'm sure if I was dealing with them [Leinster] alone," he said. "I think they rate me, so from this point or that point of view . . . Maybe I'll be back some day, maybe not; maybe Leinster will go on ahead and win another couple of Heineken Cup trophies and a couple of Rabos, you just don't know."
Reflecting on an emotional night, he added: "It was tough to talk to the group. I think they know how I feel about the whole thing. I said I never thought it was going to happen like this. I'm going to miss them. This team has been everything to me for the last seven years, maybe too much at times. Some of them are probably glad to see the back of me. They'll be quieter training sessions next year."
Could the Ireland international return to Dublin in the future? "It's a two-way process," said Sexton. "The good thing about Leinster over the last few years is we have replaced everyone that's left. Rocky Elsom left, Kevin McLaughlin and Seán O'Brien came in. Brad Thorn left, Devin Toner has filled his boots.
"I'm sure guys will come in and fill the spot I've had for a few years. But it's a two-way thing. They'll have to want me back. Obviously, this is a very special place, I love this place."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength-to-strength as a result
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points
"Every game I want to win, I want to be successful. I want to play for England and I want to win the World Cup." Tom Hamilton talks to Danny Care