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'Ibrahimovic Of Rugby' - Sexton Didn't Exactly Endear Himself To French Teammates

'Ibrahimovic Of Rugby' - Sexton Didn't Exactly Endear Himself To French Teammates
Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Johnny Sexton's French dalliance was not exactly a roaring success. Racing 92 may have been shelling out the big bucks but they weren't getting Toulon level success. Two fifth placed finishes in the league and failure to get to the Top 14 final was not what Racing were looking for and it seems Sexton's personality may have had something to do with that.

Ahead of the big clash on Sunday, French rugby publication Midi Olympique have published a profile of Leinster's returning prodigal son and it makes for interesting reading. According to French rugby expert Gavin Mortimer Racing's backs coach Laurent Labit has the most to say about the Irish outhalf.

He didn’t always perform for Racing and he knew it. And it irritated him very much.

Jonathan had the tendency to employ a rather forceful manner and use a colourful language in the heat of the moment. Sometimes it bordered on insults. At some moments Jonathan was really uncontrollable.


Sexton's manner put him at odds with his teammates. On the field, a lot of that came down to the fact that Sexton wanted to be the fulcrum of the team when the French tradition dictated that job was down to the scrumhalf.

Labit may point to Sexton's professional drive and absolute perfectionism but it seems his teammates may have been less enamoured with his personality. One anonymous voice from inside the Racing dressing room summed up Sexton's time in Paris with one less than complimentary line.

He’s the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of rugby.

By his own high standard, it's fair Sexton failed to achieve what Zlatan has in Paris. As such, we can only assume that comparison is not exactly meant as a compliment from whomever Sexton's former teammate may be.


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