Jonny will be missed by Sexton

2013-05-14 18:39
Jonathan Sexton (File)
London - Jonny Sexton is disappointed that Jonny Wilkinson will not be alongside him on the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.

England fly-half great Wilkinson, 33, was omitted when Lions coach Warren Gatland named his 37-man squad last month, with Ireland's Sexton and current Red Rose No 10 Owen Farrell the two lone specialist stand-offs for the combined side.

Sexton, who is set to play two high-profile matches for Leinster before the Lions depart for Australia - against Stade Francais in the European Challenge Cup final on Friday and next week against Ulster in the Celtic League final - said he took no pleasure in Wilkinson's absence.

"A lot of people have said to me that it is great he wasn't picked because it gives me a better chance now," Sexton said.

"But I look at it the other way. I would have liked him to go and would have loved to have learnt from him, he is a bit of a legend.

"I obviously looked up to him when I was 16 and he was winning the World Cup with England."

Sexton, who will move to French Top 14 side Racing Metro following the Lions tour, hopes he has got through the worst of an injury-interrupted season.

"Hopefully I've used up all of my injuries for the year over the past few months," he said. "It feels strange to be so fresh at this time of the year -- I feel I'm just starting after the fact I've had two months off and I have played four games since (returning from injury) means I feel great.

"I'm starting to get a bit of match fitness and sharpness back, so hopefully I will peak at the right time for the two finals with Leinster and then the tour," added Sexton, a provincial and Ireland colleague of Lions star Brian O'Driscoll.

He said he had no thought of taking it easy with Leinster to spare himself a further injury that could wreck his Lions prospects.

"Once you get out on the pitch your competitiveness comes through and it is the last thing you think about. It is about winning and there are two finals with Leinster, it isn't like they are friendlies. Two competitive games, high pressure, they are the sorts of preparation you want."

Read more on:    jonny wilkinson  |  jonathan sexton  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

SA Rugby's coaching indaba is set to take place this week. Do you think the two-day think-tank will make any difference?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.