herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Comeback kid Jonny to line out again for Leinster

Jonathan Sexton will be back in a Leinster jersey next year.

It's a case of '"au revoir, Paris" for the 29-year-old, who has signed a new four-year contract to return to Leinster which will take him up to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The Irish and British Lion will make the move home when his current contract with Racing Metro expires at the end of the season.

Jonny, who has been living in France with his wife of one-year Laura and their two-month-old baby Luca, said he made the decision for them.

"It's a choice for my family, my international career and my extended family in Ireland," he said.

"I have a great rapport with everyone here, it was a very hard decision to make.

"I don't regret at all coming to France or Racing, it has been an incredible experience.

"I grew up playing my rugby in Leinster and always wanting to pull on the blue jersey so I am delighted to be able to return."

It is understood that bosses at Racing Metro, where retired Ireland and Munster player Ronan O'Gara is a kicking coach, made a counter-offer to keep out-half Jonny, but he turned it down.

"Jonathan Sexton has decided to return to Ireland next season, it's unfortunate but we accept it," said Racing owner Jackie Lorenzetti.

jaw Jonny, from Rathgar, has been sidelined with a broken jaw and will be out for up to eight weeks while he recovers from his injury.

He is expected to be back in action in time for the autumn internationals.

No doubt he and his wife Laura will be house-hunting in the coming months to find the ideal pad.

They welcomed their son on June 28 in a French hospital and have since been back to Dublin to introduce little Luca to family and friends.

Childhood sweethearts Jonny and Laura have been together for 15 years.

The pair first met in Rathgar Tennis Club in Dublin when they were 13 and tied the knot on July 12 last year in Adare, Co Limerick, days after the Irish rugby players returned from duty on the successful Lions tour of Australia.

A Who's Who of the sporting world were in attendance, including Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll.

Laura worked as a secondary school teacher at Loreto on the Green in Dublin before moving abroad with her sports star husband a year ago.

hnews@herald.ie

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