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Sexton braced for 'special and tough' clash with former club Racing in Champions Cup final

The Leinster playmaker spent two years with Racing after helping Leinster win the Pro12 and Challenge Cup in 2013.

LEINSTER OUT-HALF Johnny Sexton is prepared for what will be a ‘very special game’ to him when he meets his former club Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final on 12 May.

Jonathan Sexton runs in to score a try Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Grand Slam-winning 10 scored 18 of Leinster’s 38 points in yesterday’s comprehensive semi-final win over Scarlets to edge one step closer to a first club trophy since departing his native province for Paris in 2013.

Sexton spent two years with Racing, working alongside Ronan O’Gara, before returning home in 2015. His first year back in blue ended in Pro12 final defeat to Connacht and last year he suffered his first and second ever semi-final losses in the space of four weeks.

With a final appearance to look forward to in year three of his second stint, he cut a content and relaxed figure as he addressed the media post-match in the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Just not relaxed enough to offer a prediction for today’s semi, much less reveal whether he would rather meet his former club or fierce provincial rivals.

“Do you expect me to answer that?” Sexton said with a bemused look when asked his preferred opponent in the Bilbao decider, “I’ll just give whoever a team-talk now!”

“They’re both quality teams, no matter who plays it’s going to be a very tough game.

Jonathan Sexton Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“Racing, champions a couple of years ago in France and if we play against Munster it will be a very special game for all of us. Racing, more so for me than the rest of us.

“It’s going to be a tough game no matter who.”

After seeing the ease at which Racing cut through Munster to run up an early 24 – 3 lead in their 27-22 semi-final win in Bordeaux, Sexton won’t be revising that view any time soon.

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Sean Farrell

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