Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 26 January 2022

'The more I talk, the more I think why the hell am I leaving?' -- Jonathan Sexton

Life is good at Leinster, says the outgoing number 10.

Discipline: Leo Cullen wears the head of a lion.
Discipline: Leo Cullen wears the head of a lion.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

BASKING IN THE glow of a long-awaited Pro12 winners’ medal, Jonathan Sexton had time to look around the RDS and take in his surroundings before being whisked away.

They’ve had better performances, more convincing wins and greater victories.

Yet having ended his time with his home province with two trophies in eight days, he struggled to imagine day-to-day life without the harp of Leinster on his chest.

“To win six trophies with this team is an absolute dream come true.” He told 98FM’s Stephen Doyle post-match.

“In many ways I’d like to continue, but listen, what’s done is done. I’m going, I’m going to give it my all in France and wish the lads well for the next however many years.”

Asked what he would miss most about playing for Leinster, he struggled to narrow the experience down to one thing.

“I think everything; it’s an incredible organisation to be a part of. Obviously it’s going through a big change next year. But we’ve got a fantastic coach, we look forward to coming into training every day. There’s an unbelievable atmosphere in the group and we’ve been very successful.”

That last part made the out-half check himself in his stride and laugh as he said:

“The more I’m talking, the more I’m thinking: why the hell am I leaving?

“But listen, it’s a decision I made and a stance that I took. I stuck to my word. What’s done is done and I’m going on a new adventure and I hope the Leinster lads go on and be successful.”

On a day when he, Joe Schmidt and Isa Nacewa all marked the end of an era with Leinster, Sexton admitted that it had been emotional week. But suggested that his side had channeled the feeling most effectively during a profitable opening period of the game.

All Joe’s fault

“I think Joe set a few of us off.” Sexton added. “He was at us all week not to be emotional, but he turned up and was. So it’s his fault we didn’t play very well.

“It was an emotional day for both sides. maybe we coped with the emotion a bit better at the start of the game.. After that 10-point lead, it was pretty even for the whole game.

“Losing three [league] finals and winning four European finals told.”

Listen back to the full interview with Jonathan Sexton on Now That’s What I Call Sport here >>>>

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Sean Farrell

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