Jerry Sexton, younger brother of Lions out-half Jonny, has joined his sibling in making a move to French club rugby.
Jerry, 20, signed for Pro D2 side Auch on a one-year academy contract, coincidentally the same town Paul O’Connell is getting married in this weekend.
Sexton makes the move to the home of Les Bleus after impressing for St Mary’s in the Ulster Bank League. The second-row was part of the Ireland U20 squad for this year’s Six Nations clash against Scotland. Measuring 6ft 3ins and over 100kg, the lock represented Leinster up to U20 level.
Joining Sexton in Auch’s academy is Rory Kavanagh, a backline star for St Michael’s when they won the 2012 Leinster Schools Senior Cup.
Several other Irish prospects will be plying their trade in the Pro D2 this season with Mark Flanagan at Mont de Marsan, while Brian Hayes, Conor Gaston and Charlie Simpson have moved to Jeremy Davidson-coached Aurillac. Flanagan, 23, made nine appearances for Leinster over the last three seasons. Hayes, 22, was part of the Munster squad that beat Australia in 2010. Gaston, 22, and Simpson, 21, are both products of the Ulster academy. These moves follow the news that two young Irish players have joined Top 14 clubs. Peter Lydon, 21, joined Stade Francais’ academy last month having impressed at out-half for Seapoint in Division 2A while Shane O’Leary, 19, has signed for FC Grenoble’s academy, as part of a growing Irish contingent in the Rhone-Alpes region.
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