Irish rugby star Jonathan Sexton has a new chapter a head of him, which echos the story of The Wild Geese.
The Leinster fly-half will be starting the new season in France, playing for the French Club Racing Metro. He will be the first Irish player to leave his homeland for the continent, and his place on a Top 14 team shows that his skill has been seen from overseas. Although this is a huge opportunity for him, it will be a bittersweet move for his team. His Leinster team mate Rob Kearney thinks that this move is crucial, and could open the door other players to play club rugby in Europe:
‘France is one of the new experiences that players will generally pinpoint in looking for a change. Johnny’s shown a lot of bravery. If it works out really well for him in that he’s enjoying life and playing good rugby while earning more money, people will see that and it will open up a whole new ball park’
The Leinster coach can’t speak highly enough of his star player, but understands that this is a great opportunity for him:
‘I’ve really enjoyed Johnny’s input overt he last few years and he has added tremendous value to the Leinster environment both on and off the field. The offer he has received is exceptional, even by French standards, but I know that it was still tough decision’
Today’s Wild Geese are still being championed by France, something which started back in 1691. France was the first destination The Wild Geese journeyed to, lead by Patrick Sarsfield. But like The Wild Geese, in the face of new opportunities Sexton will not forget Ireland. He will be playing against Wales in the Six Nations this Saturday (2nd February 2013).