‘Sexton’s health will worry his parents’ – Jones

Date published: February 25 2016

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton’s parents will be worried about his health after his fitness scare in the Six Nations clash with France.

That was the word from England boss Eddie Jones ahead of his side’s match with Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Sexton was targeted by France’s players throughout their Round Two clash in Paris on ¬†February 13 and appeared dazed when he left the the Stade de France pitch late in the match.

He has made a recovery, however, and will wear the number 10 jersey against England this weekend.

The 30-year-old Leinster pivot has had several head injuries in the past and missed 12 weeks of action in 2014 after four concussions inside 12 months.

And Jones’ latest comments has now intensified strong scrutiny over Sexton’s concussion problems.

“Sexton is an interesting one, they’ve talked about him having whiplash injury which is not a great thing to talk about,” said Jones after announcing England’s team for Saturday’s crucial fixture.

“I’m sure his mother and father would be worried about that. Hopefully, the lad’s all right on Saturday to play.”

France have deliberately targeted Sexton in recent Tests against Ireland.

That tactic was used in Paris again and resulted in Yoann Maestri receiving a citing commissioner’s warning for a late tackle on the former Racing 92 pivot.

Ireland have outline their trust in top medical professionals regarding health and fitness, especially concerning head injuries and concussions.

Their head coach Schmidt has insisted that his team adhere to the highest standards of safety and due care for Sexton, who is one of his team’s stalwarts.

Jones heightened the tensions ahead of the clash with Ireland and when asked whether England could legitimately target opposing fly-halves at Test level he said:¬†“We target players all the time.

“That’s part of rugby is it not? Is there some sort of special law there?

“There are 15 players out there. Are we supposed to not run at one player? Hang on, hang on, he’s got a red dot on his head, we don’t run at him.

“Rugby’s a game of XV players on the field. When we’re attacking, we’re attacking weak defenders. Why would we run at the strongest defender?

“We are not going to run at their strongest defenders, we’ll always run at their weakest.

“I’m not saying Sexton is a weak defender. Maybe France did. We’re going to be targeting players in the Ireland side.

“We want to win and you win a game of rugby by attacking their weak points and to say that’s unfair is just ridiculous.”