Irish Rugby
'Sexton will do the right thing'
ESPN Staff
January 17, 2013
Leinster's Jonathan Sexton exploits some space, Leinster v Cardiff Blues, Heineken Cup quarter-final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, April 7, 2012
Jonathan Sexton looks set to stay in Ireland © Getty Images

Ireland coach Declan Kidney is optimistic that star fly-half Jonathan Sexton will turn down the money on offer from France and stay at Leinster.

Sexton, who was named in Ireland's squad for the Six Nations, has been linked with Top 14 big-spenders Racing Metro in recent days but their owner, Jacky Lorenzetti, described on Thursday the chances of Sexton agreeing to a switch to Paris as "tiny". Sexton, who is in line for a spot on the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, is one of Europe's top fly-halves and Kidney is hopeful that he will stay in Ireland.

Asked if a Sexton move to France would spark an exodus of leading Irish talent, Kidney suggested that the player is likely to put the best interests of his club and country first. "I don't think anything that Jonny would do would be selfish or lead to a thing like that," he said. "He just has to do the right things. Whoever came out with the story publicly, I don't think the IRFU or Jonny had any interest in it going like that.

"I've yet to meet an Irish player who has actually made his decision based on money. He's made it on how he's looked after (and) his affinity to the team. Our fellas' pride in their provinces is only matched by their pride in their Irish jersey. When our lads make decisions about moving abroad they don't make them lightly and I've yet to meet one who has made it purely on finance."

When asked about Sexton's talks with the IRFU, Kidney added: "There are negotiations going on and I'd imagine that they'll be drawing to a conclusion fairly soon. I wouldn't like to pre-empt these things, you have to let the negotiations carry on.

"It's a profession. Fellas have to look after themselves and I know the union will do everything to keep him but because it's a professional situation, there's only so much money there. Hopefully everyone involved will make the right decisions to keep Jonny in Ireland."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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