Sexton’s French mission is personal

Date published: February 12 2016

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Jonathan Sexton returns to Paris tomorrow with Ireland for the first time since his vexed departure from Racing 92.

Sexton cited family reasons as the primary factor in his decision to leave the French giants and rejoin Leinster at the end of the 2014/2015 season.

However, scathing words of criticism from his then Racing coach Laurent Labit suggested there might have been more to it than the Irishmen let on.

"He was hyper sensitive," Labit jibed in 2014 in an interview with Midi Olympique.

"Jonathan was really uncontrollable. When we ran plays, if someone forgot his role, he was capable of giving them a bollocking.

"Johnny is someone who is perpetually putting everything in question, and who obliges you to be constantly on alert."

Many such condemnations littered French media in the wake of the 30-year-old's exit.

Speaking after he was passed fit to play against France at the Stade de France on Saturday, Sexton said: "It does hurt when it is not true. I don't mind when people criticise my performance because that is black and white.

"You either play well or you don't and that is part of the job.

"But when they make up stuff about your personality and portray you as I don't think I am, that can hurt. So that's a little bit more personal."

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