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Racing Metro Have A Lot To Thank For Johnny Sexton's Influence

Racing Metro Have A Lot To Thank For Johnny Sexton's Influence
By Conor O'Leary

How much impact can a player with just 34 appearances out of a potential 61 games in two years have?

If that player's name is Jonathan Sexton, then a lot. When Ireland's outhalf leaves his French club in the summer, they may not have a huge amount to remember him by on the pitch, but his influence off the pitch has been enormous.

Sexton joined Racing Metro at an exciting time. There were 14 new players, and two new coaches joining him at the Parisian club, and it was obvious that things would take a while to bed in. That some of those new players have moved on already shows how difficult that transition was for the team.

Sexton's power and influence is already known to Irish rugby. We know about his high standards, his perfectionism, and his tendency to call out anyone for their mistakes, no matter how big a player they are.

It took Sexton mere months before challenging his two new coaches in his second language. Sexton was baffled by some of the training methods that were being employed by the club, and felt the preparations were light years behind what he'd already experienced in Leinster.

Racing were increasing physical contact in training leading up to games, instead of decreasing, and Sexton felt it was unhelpful to the team to keep selections a secret to the players until 30 hours before kick offs. Meeting 12 hours before kick off on a match day made no sense either.

The coaches resisted Sexton's complaints at first. That was how they had won the Top 14 for Castres and that's how it was going to be.

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That wouldn't have gone down well with Sexton.

It's a measure of his character that Sexton has managed to convince the entire club to change. Of course, O'Gara was an able assistant to his former rival.

Racing have Sexton to thank for bringing them into the modern age of rugby.

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Now Sexton will be relying on his Racing teammates to help him keep his remarkable stat of never losing a European rugby knockout tie.

See Also: Gerry Thornley Has Made A Big Claim About Conor Murray And Johnny Sexton

Photo Credit Matthew Impey/ Sportsfile

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