JOE SCHMIDT IS hoping that Jonny Sexton plays no part in Racing Metro’s Top 14 clash with Biarritz tomorrow, despite the out-half having flown back to Paris yesterday evening.
It seems likely that Sexton will be on the bench for Racing, with Jonathan Wisniewski having recovered from injury to take advantage of a rare opportunity to start at 10. Biarritz have been the worst side in France so far this season, rock bottom of the league with just one win in 10 games.
The hope is that Sexton will not be needed on the pitch, but at the end of the day it is Racing who pay his wages and if they see fit to use him, there can be no argument. In that event, Joe Schmidt is confident that he has two able deputies to choose from in Paddy Jackson and Ian Madigan.
If he [Sexton] is run down next week or if he does play against Biarritz then it’s a great opportunity for Paddy or Ian to step up and make a mark.”
The Ulster man has had the more successful season so far, starring in both of his province’s Heineken Cup wins and displaying maturity while doing so. On the other hand, Madigan has been frustrated by Matt O’Connor’s preference for Jimmy Gopperth at out-half for Leinster, but has undoubted play making skills.
So, in the case that Sexton is too tired to start against Samoa in just over a week’s time, who would you like to see wearing number 10 for Ireland?