DECLAN Kidney says it would take more than money to turn Jonny Sexton’s head and lure him away from Ireland.
The Leinster out-half was this week linked to a move to French club Racing Metro who are reportedly ready to pounce on his current contract uncertainty by offering in the region of €750,000 a year.
Naming Sexton in his extended training squad ahead of the Six Nations today, Kidney said he is hopeful that the IRFU can renegotiate a deal to keep one of the country’s stars at home.
“Fellas have to look after themselves and I know the union will do everything to keep him,” Kidney said, “but because it’s a professional situation, there’s only so much money there.
Hopefully everybody will make the right decisions that will keep Jonny in Ireland.
Asked if losing Sexton could spark an exodus of players leaving in search of lucrative foreign contracts, Kidney said that money was not the main factor for any of the Irish players he has worked with.
“I don’t think anything that Jonny would do would be selfish or lead to a thing like that. He just has to do the right things. Whoever came out with the story publicly, I don’t think the IRFU or Jonny had any interest in it going like that.”
He added: “I’ve yet to meet an Irish player who has actually made his decision based on money. He’s made it on how he’s looked after [and] his affinity to the team.
Our fellas’ pride in their provinces is only matched by their pride in their Irish jersey. When our lads make decisions about moving abroad they don’t make them lightly and I’ve yet to meet one who has made it purely on finance.
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