Sexton damage comes during ideal time for Ireland

Ruaidhri O’Connor

Published 02/09/2014 | 02:30

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Out-half Johnny Sexton stays a pivotal actor in Joe Schmidt's skeleton for Ireland. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Out-half Johnny Sexton stays a pivotal actor in Joe Schmidt’s skeleton for Ireland. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Last season, Joe Schmidt tuned into any one of Johnny Sexton’s games for Racing Metro so it’s expected a Ireland coach’s antennae was buzzing flattering fast as he watched his fly-half potter off after 50 mins of Saturday’s Top 14 win over Toulon.


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Having endured a disappointment of a playmaker stating for avocation “flat” final Nov after personification 13 games in 13 uninterrupted weeks and opting to rest him for a opening Test opposite Samoa, a difference deja and vu substantially entered a equation.

By yesterday, however, things were looking all a brighter for a Ireland manager whose many critical actor will have four-to-six weeks rest before returning to movement a month out from a autumn internationals where he should only be attack a right pitch.

While a actor himself has to put adult with a pain and annoy of a fractured jaw, his general manager has been saved a headache.

Sexton will be undone about blank a horde of Top 14 games and faces a competition to be fit for his club’s opening European strife with Northampton Saints in Paris, though a unfolding for Ireland is most some-more positive.

Racing’s recruitment of Springbok Johan Goosen has eased a weight on a Irishman somewhat, though he stays pivotal to their efforts and his detriment is a large blow.

However, partial of a reason Schmidt has worked so tough to move Sexton behind to Ireland subsequent deteriorate is to hang his star male in string wool.


In a Irish system, a manager and a conditioning staff will guard their fly-half’s aptness from Lansdowne Road and repel him when they need to, a control is everything.

Over in Paris, however, he is over their grasp and they contingency watch on nervously any time he takes a field.

A damaged jaw won’t means Schmidt too many excited nights, though Sexton’s damage form given relocating to France contingency be rather concerning for everybody in Irish rugby.

After stating for avocation underneath standard in November, he picked adult a hamstring damage before a Six Nations, harmed his palm during a contest and suffered concussions personification opposite France and Argentina.

The 29-year-old still managed to be accessible for all 9 Tests after sitting out a Samoa diversion and his health is of peerless significance to Ireland’s possibility of building on their success final season.

Yesterday, Leinster manager Matt O’Connor could means a grin as he joked about Sexton not being means to speak to anyone since his mouth is connected up.

Next season, a fly-half’s health will be his problem and he is already clued in to a player’s gratification notwithstanding a fact that his attainment behind during UCD is 12 months away.

The manager remained as decorous as he could about bringing a “world class” actor back, while Shane Jennings was transparent on a fact that a Lion would be welcomed behind to a dressing-room with open arms.

As Brian O’Driscoll began life after rugby with his initial radio promote final night, Ireland will be even some-more reliant on their No10 this season.

Assuming there are no serve complications with his jaw, his mutation will be essential as Schmidt looks to take his side to a subsequent turn by claiming a vital scalp.

The All Blacks might have been authorised off a offshoot final year, though if Ireland are to grasp their idea of a World Cup semi-final and over subsequent Sep violence South Africa and Australia would be a good place to start.

Despite regulating a horde of new faces in Argentina final summer, a spine of Schmidt’s elite starting XV was transparent over a march of a deteriorate and Sexton is pivotal to all that happens behind a scrum.

While a idea that his fatigue contributed to a missed flog that authorised New Zealand stay in a diversion on that fatal dusk final November, carrying a fresher Sexton would positively assistance Ireland’s means in this World Cup year.

Seeing him helped off would have caused some worry for Schmidt, though that has dissolute with a news as a disastrous became a certain for Ireland’s cause.

Irish Independent

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