Worldwide reaction to Johnny Sexton ban shows how high Ireland have climbed 4 months ago

Worldwide reaction to Johnny Sexton ban shows how high Ireland have climbed

Being discussed in the four corners of the [Tier One] rugby planet.

If you wanted to take stock of how much Irish rugby has risen, over the past five years, look no further than the reaction of rugby pundits, outlets, fans and former players to the Johnny Sexton ban.


Despite the fact that Ireland have never gone beyond the quarter finals of the World Cup, and the fact that the closest we came was way back in 1991, we are firmly on that radar of rugby's heavyweights now.

During a radio interview I had with Martin Devlin, for The Platform in New Zealand, after Ireland won the Grand Slam, the show's host admitted many Kiwis were 'in awe' of Andy Farrell's men.

"All I can say is you bunch of frickin' sods, mate!" he exclaimed.

"You'll be laughing at this, because in between World Cups, the All Blacks have always been the best team, but this time we aren't. That's you now - you're the favourites heading into the World Cup. It's not a title that sits easy, though, is it?"

Ireland are the No.1 ranked side in world rugby, and are on a 10 game unbeaten run that includes victories over New Zealand [twice], South Africa, Australia, England and France. As the World Cup heads to France for its 10th ever staging, Ireland look primed to go deep in the draw.


Sexton will be available for all those World Cup games, fitness permitting, after only copping a three-match ban [reduced from a potential six]. That decision has certainly sparked debate amongst some of rugby's biggest powerhouses.

New Zealand (Liam Napier)


France (Rugbyrama)

Writer Manon Moreau stated that one could have imagined the Johnny Sexton decision could have been 'much heavier in view of the sanctions for the same reason in recent years'.

'Words, inappropriate gestures and insults have no place in rugby', he added before citing four other misconduct cases that ended up with longer bans for the transgressors.

South Africa (Brendan Nel & Jared Wright)


England (Peter Jackson & Charles Richardson)


Ireland (Stephen Ferris)

As it stands, Johnny Sexton will train with the Ireland squad and help with all the World Cup preparations and analysis, but he must spin his wheels until the tournament gets underway in France, in early September.

Should Ireland finish first or second in their World Cup pool, they will most likely face off against France or New Zealand in the quarter finals.

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