Brian O’Driscoll hints Jonny Sexton could return to Leinster
Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll says Jonny Sexton would be welcome back at Leinster
Brian O’Driscoll has hinted that Johnny Sexton could return to Leinster if the Irish Rugby Football Union buys out the final season of his Racing Metro contract.
The Leinster and Ireland legend who is set to retire at the end of the season believes it would help Ireland’s 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign if the 28-year-old returns to his home province this summer.
I know that he’d be welcomed back into the fold from a provincial point of view
“I don’t want to talk out of turn where Johnny is contracted to Racing, and I think it would be disrespectful to them to say we were looking at taking him away from them,” O’Driscoll said.
“I think everyone is in agreement that we didn’t want to see him go, and if a situation arose where he did come back, and some agreement was made, I don’t see that possibly being a negative.”
Since his move to Paris in the summer, Ireland’s management feels they have lost the control over Sexton and his game-time which has been detrimental to the outside-half being available and fit to play for the national side.
The Dublin-born star picked up a hamstring strain after a period of excessive work with Racing in the autumn after playing in 13 club matches in 10 weeks and the club versus country row has resurfaced during the Six Nations with Sexton nursing thumb ligament damage.
After Ireland’s 13-10 defeat to England at Twickenham on 23 February, Sexton returned to his club in France with his hand in a splint while the rest of the Joe Schmidt’s squad headed home and had their rehabilitation, training and game-time carefully managed by the IRFU ahead of last weekend’s round of Pro12 matches.
Despite Ian Madigan and Jimmy Gopperth sharing the number 10 jersey at Leinster this season, O’Driscoll is adamant that there would be a place for him with the reigning Pro12 champions.
“I know that he’d be welcomed back into the fold from a provincial point of view,” he added.
“And I’m sure the national management would like to be able to control his game-time a little bit more than they currently can.”
“I suppose it’s one just to wait out and we’ll see what happens.”