Three reasons why Johnny Sexton is right to return to Leinster
Three reasons why Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton is making the right decision to return to Leinster next season
Box office appeal
Leinster and their fans will have to get used to the sight of match days without their legendary hero Brian O’Driscoll in the famous blue jersey. The starting XV for the Dublin side will still be a formidable one this campaign, containing such stars as Cian Healy, Jaime Heaslip and Goron D’Arcy. The star power of Leinster has being one of the key successes to on and off-field triumphs. Season tickets sales have dramatically risen since the move to the RDS a number of years ago, and Leinster regularly play in front of crowds in the region of 12,000 to 14,000. Sold-out derbies against Munster have even being staged in the Aviva Stadium and over 80,000 die-hards witnessed a European encounter between Leinster and Munster at Croke Park in 2009. So with Leinster celebrating 20 years of being a professional club in 2015, Johnny Sexton’s return to the Irish province where he made his name will undoubtedly be the summer’s big box-office smash hit. Crowd turnouts is not a problem in Leinster but with Johnny signing a deal from 2015 till 2019 expect to see more sold-out signs
Good news for Ireland
Irish fans, in general, have seen less of Sexton with his time playing in Paris for Racing Metro. You had to chase after a Sexton story, either online or in European publications. The popular fly-half also missed out on some friendly fixtures, but he was released for the crucial Six Nations fixtures. With the 29-year-old set to return to Ireland, they will be less complicated issues surrounding his release for international duty. With the Top 14 league in France naturally receiving less publicity in the UK and Ireland, his move home will see him back on our TV screens and lighting up rugby fields in the UK and Ireland again. The World Cup is of course taking place in England next summer and Irish followers will be hoping his head and his heart are back in the right place, as he prepares to bleed green for the cause next summer.
Home is where the heart is…
One of the main reasons Sexton gave for his reason to return was to be closer with his family. The British and Irish Lion star only recently had his first baby with his wife and you feel raising his own family in Ireland was a big reason for the return home. Sexton, of course, made a brave move to travel abroad to play in a different rugby environment. Despite interest in many Irish players from French sides, Trevor Brennan is the only other person of note that gave French Rugby a try. Sexton kept up the famous Irish tradition of leaving his homeland in search of a better life. With more reported Irish the world over than actually in Ireland itself, it is just natural for the Irish to explore and travel the world. But more often than not they find themselves eventually coming back home to family and friends.