Top 14 and Tests too much – Sexton

Date published: September 5 2014

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Jonathan Sexton admits it's almost impossible for current Test players to juggle international careers while playing in France.

Jonathan Sexton admits it's almost impossible for current Test players to juggle international careers while playing in France.

The Ireland fly-half will be returning to Leinster after a two-year spell with Racing-Métro, ending speculation earlier this week.

His stint in France has been far from plain sailing, with Racing experiencing an up and down campaign last season, while the French club and Ireland also had differing views on injury timetables.

And while Sexton doesn't believe that the Top 14 is too tough a league for anyone to combine it with Test rugby, he admits that managing the two was beyond him.

“It's difficult to juggle a club career and an international career. I missed preparation periods with Racing and even a training camp with Ireland.

“That put me under a lot of pressure. Joe Schmidt has spoken to me a lot over the last four months.

“It's clear that for him it will be easier to manage the number of games I play if I'm in Ireland. But I can assure you that it's not a financial issue.

“For me it's not possible [to have an international career abroad while playing club rugby in France]. Not in my position.

“As a fly-half, I need to be there for every camp to learn all the tactics. I need to be involved, and that's difficult when playing in France.

“There are a young players coming through, and the competition is very real. I was also afraid of losing my place in the national team.”

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