Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton has revealed he was tempted to go and make a rare Guinness PRO14 appearance this weekend with Leinster after his country’s March 7 Six Nations match versus Italy was postponed due to the coronavirus threat.
Having featured in just 16 of his club’s 69 league games in the last three seasons, Sexton hasn’t appeared for Leinster in any of their dozen league matches so far this season.
However, the Ireland-Italy call-off initially left him feeling a hit-out with Leinster in Friday night’s RDS match versus Glasgow might be the cure to help get him over Ireland’s defeat to England last Sunday and help fill the gap until his next Test match away to France on March 14.
“As players, when you play bad you want to just go and play straight away. I was tempted to try and go play for Leinster,” said the out-half to Irish media following Ireland squad training on Friday at Donnybrook.
“There’s nothing worse than a long wait now, but that’s what it is. We’ve just got to prepare. We trained hard today and we’ve got another big week next week.
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“We can get a lot fixed over the couple of weeks, so we have got to look at the positives that we have got time to develop some things together now.
“We just have to get over it. It [the postponement] is a decision that has been taken out of the players’ hands. We’d play it behind closed doors if we could but that’s not an option and we’re just going with the plan now. We’ll try and get ready for France.”
In Pics: The Ireland squad hosted an open training session at Energia Park today with the Ireland U20s. 3,000 fans were on hand to cheer on the team and watch training.#ShoulderToShoulder
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 28, 2020
Ireland coach Andy Farrell had no qualms that the IRFU and health officials in Dublin decided to tell the Six Nations to postpone the round four match versus the Italians.
“Obviously, we are disappointed but it’s the right decision, isn’t it? There’s more important things than a game of rugby, isn’t there?
“There’s a few dates being bounced about but they are just ideas at this point in time, so we haven’t got a clue really. There’s a lot of ifs, buts and maybes, so as far as we’re concerned we’ll do what we’re told. We obviously want to play the game.
Meeting planned to thrash things through https://t.co/VSBBeWjKv8
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 28, 2020
“It’s not (very disruptive) for us. Obviously there’s a bit of uncertainty of what may happen because of what you read about it etc and what’s going on in the world, but we have got to make sure that we do the right thing as a game.
“We definitely will do that but as far as distraction is concerned, we’re training, we’re rugby players coming to work, so we try and get better.”
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