Heaslip adamant Sexton is focused
January 30, 2013
Jonathan Sexton will leave Ireland at the end of the season © Getty Images
Racing Metro are rumoured to be Sexton's eventual destination but before all that, Sexton has a Six Nations and a potential British & Irish Lions tour on his radar. Last week Sexton's Leinster colleague Rob Kearney revealed that the No.10 was "upset" by the way negotiations unfolded and did not want to leave Dublin.
It has been reported that Sexton was disappointed not to have been offered parity with Heaslip, but Ireland's new captain denied the issue had affected their relationship. When asked if there was any tension between himself and Sexton, Heaslip replied: "No, not in the slightest. It (France) has always been there, it's not like it's a new ball park. I doubt Jonny's thinking about being a guinea pig for anyone else.
"There hasn't been much chat except a bit of banter and trying to speak French to him. Jonny had to weigh up the offers and chose the option he chose. As a club-mate at Leinster and friend it's disappointing to lose him. We're going to miss him.
"It will be an amazing adventure for him and I'm sure he's looking forward to it. He's the ultimate professional. He came in on Sunday night and was good to go.....as cranky as ever. The business is done and now he's onto the next challenge."
Sexton will start for Ireland against Wales on Saturday as his team seek to end their three-match losing streak against the Grand Slam champions. And Ireland boss Declan Kidney is under no illusions over just how difficult their task is going to be. "Wales are the champions, we're going to their back yard and they'll be smarting from their disappointing November, so we know we're fully up against it," Kidney said.
"The Six Nations has now become unique in that there is no back door - there are no bonus points or home and away games like there are in the Heineken Cup. It's not quite knock-out rugby but if you get off to a good start in your first game, it gives you a great chance to go on and do things."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time