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Jordi Murphy Admits That 'Standards Had Dropped' At Leinster During Johnny Sexton's Absence

Jordi Murphy Admits That 'Standards Had Dropped' At Leinster During Johnny Sexton's Absence
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Johnny Sexton made headlines last month when claiming that Leinster are "culturally nowhere near" where they were in Sexton's first stint with the club.

Sexton returned to Leinster after two injury-hit seasons with Leinster, and told Newstalk that "we're not within touching distance of it and people can kid themselves otherwise, but I think that's the biggest issue and we've got to get that right first and foremost because you can't do anything without those issues being resolved".

Sexton's Leinster team-mate Jordi Murphy spoke to us at the launch of Skill Zone, a new multi-sport entertainment facility in Dublin, and he believes that "standards had dropped" at Leinster during Sexton's exile:

I think Johnny was talking about the two years he had been away. I think maybe our standards had dropped in some aspects. We, as individual players, maybe weren't putting in absolutely every little thing we could, or sacrificing every thing we could for the collective group. Obviously, hearing something like that from Johnny, you've got to take it on.

I think the kind of culture that Leo's brought in this year, with Girvan and all the backroom staff has really worked well with the group. It's just one of those things, with Johnny having the success that he's had, to come back and have such a disappointing campaign in Europe, this has obviously affected him and made him say those things, but he can be spot on in some ways, maybe we weren't working hard enough for each other, and that's definitely something everyone has tried to work on.

It's just one of those things. You win so much for so long, and then you don't for a season or two, and then you have to look around you and try to pinpoint little bits and pieces to work on this year. If you were to kick out a few things, it's those extra things before and after training, the extra time you spent on your days off working towards the games on the weekend. Everyone's effort level needs to go up, especially in Europe.

Leinster's European campaign this season was particularly disappointing: losses to Wasps, Bath, and consecutive defeats to Toulon left Leinster eliminated by the competition by December.

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You can listen to the full interview on our podcast, The Racket below.

Jordi Murphy was speaking at the launch of Skill Zone in Dublin. For more details, go to SkillZone.ie, where you can see the results of Murphy's SkillZone challenge with Dublin's Michael Darragh MacAuley. 

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