Johnny won’t be ‘Racing’ home

Jonathan Sexton insists that quotes attributed to him in a recent interview where he admitted thinking about quitting Racing Metro were “blown out of proportion” and that he is settling in to life in France.

Always an honest interviewee, the Ireland out-half told the BBC prior to the Six Nations that he had days where he contemplated handing in his notice in Paris and others where he felt like he could stay with the club for life.

“All the headlines could have been that I could be there forever and now it’s like, ‘you want home’,” he said yesterday at Dublin Airport where he was promoting an Aer Lingus air fare sale prior to his return to Paris.

“I was just honest. There were days at the start when I felt like I’d go back and play for Mary’s for the year. Do you know what I mean? Whereas there’s other days when you come off the pitch and say, ‘Jeez, that was pretty good and we could build something good here’.

“Like I said, I could be [at Racing] forever but that’s just the ups and downs that go with everything, I think. There’s no point in thinking about, ‘if the opportunity arises I’ll go home’, do you know what I mean?”

He has yet to discover if he will start for Racing’s home tie with Bayonne next Saturday. Juan-Martin Hernandez was at ten for the 19-19 draw the club secured away to Perpignan last weekend.

That was Racing’s second stalemate on the road from their last three trips and a trio of home wins over Montpellier, Toulon and Toulouse since November has them just a single point off the Top 14 play-off places.

With Ireland claiming two wins from their opening Six Nations games, it makes for a different backdrop to the last time Sexton winged his way back to France in November given that All Black loss and Racing’s woeful form at the time.

Not that it has been all sweetness and light since. An encouraging opening to the Heineken Cup dissolved into four losses on the bounce and there was one dismal 6-0 away defeat to the minnows of Oyonnax last month too.

The only other potential cloud on the horizon evaporated last week when Ronan O’Gara ruled himself out as a potential successor to Rob Penney at Munster next season and insisted he was staying put with Sexton at Racing Metro.

“I hope he is in Paris next year,” said Sexton, reiterating how helpful it has been to have the Cork man at the club and in the city this season.

“But I know from speaking to him that he would love to coach Munster at some point. That would be his ideal job. That is why he is becoming a coach. When he gets the Munster job, or if he gets it, isn’t up to me.”


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