A lot of people seem to be shocked at Jonny Sexton's decision to join Racing Metro on a two-year contract this summer.
Given that the size of the offer that was widely speculated in the media was around the ¤750,000 mark a season for two seasons, we shouldn't really be surprised. This is far and above any offer ever made to an Irish player and shows the standing Sexton now has worldwide.
It will make him one of the best-paid players in France, with possibly only Jonny Wilkinson earning more. Sexton was presented with a once-in-a-life time opportunity to secure his financial future -- and with the increase in career-ending injuries that we have seen recently, every professional rugby player should have one eye on life after rugby, as you never can tell when it will finish.
Apart from the financial aspect, it gives him and his wife-to-be Laura a chance to live in an exciting city like Paris. Jonny is a fiercely proud Leinster man and Irish man -- you can be sure that he has guarantees in his contract that he will be available to represent Ireland in all their test matches.
In Racing Metro he will be surrounded by world-class players and two excellent coaches -- who are joining from Castres in the summer -- in Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit. They both have outstanding reputations.
Now with the backing of multi-millionaire president Jackie Lorrenzetti they will turn Racing Metro into real contenders. They have obviously decided to build their team around Sexton and I believe that he has the chance to build something special there and lead them to silverware.
Bernard Jackman is a former Leinster and Ireland star