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Will Johnny Sexton leave Leinster for Lyon?

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

19:36 16 Dec 2019


Johnny Sexton's links to Lyon have the smack of 'curious timing' according to the Irish Independent's Ruaidhri O'Connor.

Ruaidhri O'Connor joined us in the studio following a weekend of Champions Cup action involving all four provinces, and attention turned to Ireland's totemic player: Sexton.

Johnny Sexton: bienvenue à Lyon?

"Curious timing. A player being considered for the national captaincy suddenly showing loyalty to the cause as he is in a race to be fit in for the Six Nations," commented O'Connor.

"It is an interesting one, a bit of a bolt from the blue. The idea of an Irish player being bought out of his contract a year early - it has never been done before.

"He's still class. If Lyon want a number ten - and they are still short there - and they got a sense that Johnny Sexton was an option, then I wonder where they got the impression that they might have been.

"As far as we were aware, he wants to be the 2021 Lions' number ten and Ireland captain.

"It is an interesting one in that I wonder whether it was a call to an agent that found its way out there, but I think there is a bit of politicking going on around the captaincy stuff."

That politicking appears to involve a number of players, as Ruaidhri believes no-one has a 'C' by their name at the moment. But the sense is that Sexton is settled in Dublin.

"I think Leinster would be loathe to lose him and they would be stupid to let him go from his contract a year early.

"They have already lost Joey Carbery, they would be silly to let Johnny Sexton go before his time as well."

Keith Wood agreed with Ruaidhri that the talk was likely to amount to nothing.

"I don't think that Johnny is ever going to go to Lyon.

"He will only go somewhere where he has the chance to win a lot of trophies because he is hungry for them, which is what you want from a player."

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