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Former Ireland Out-half Calls Sexton Behaviour 'Unacceptable'

Former Ireland Out-half Calls Sexton Behaviour 'Unacceptable'

Johnny Sexton cut a frustrated figure as he left the pitch with just under three minutes remaining in Ireland's Guinness Six Nations win against Italy in Rome last month.

Sexton was caught on camera swearing as he stepped off to be replaced by Jack Carty.

"I'm sorry if I let my frustrations boil over at times but that's part of me and I care a lot about the team," Sexton told Virgin Media in the days following the game.

Sexton's rationale for his demeanour has not received the approval of former Ireland out-half Tony Ward.

"Sexton's behaviour in Rome - and I don't care if he is World Player of the Year - was unacceptable," writes Ward in his Irish Independent column.

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Real leaders support team-mates, particularly in moments of crisis.

To excuse that tantrum, with Jack Carty making his debut, as "part of me" is just not good enough.

Equally, to suggest that a nasty temperamental edge somehow equates with being more competitive or having a stronger drive or greater commitment to the cause is wrong.

Ward loves Sexton as a player but not as a leader.

"And please spare comparison with Roy Keane at his fiery but equally self-absorbed best. Great leaders inspire, they don't alienate.

"There is a fear factor building around our key player that cannot possibly benefit team morale."

He believes that Joe Schmidt needs to curtail that fear factor.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: France Name Team To Face Ireland On Sunday

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