Captain Johnny Sexton expressed his disappointment as his illustrious rugby career concluded with a heartbreaking World Cup quarter-final loss to New Zealand.
The All Blacks clinched a thrilling match 28-24 in Paris, securing a spot in the semi-finals against Argentina.
Despite retiring as Ireland’s all-time leading points scorer, Sexton was unable to guide his team to their maiden appearance in the tournament’s semi-finals.
“You’ve got to work hard for fairytale endings and we didn’t get it but that’s life,” said an emotional Sexton.
He said:, “I would never say never (to coaching), you never know what life is going to throw at you.
“It wouldn’t be my plan straight away, if an offer came in, it wouldn’t be right for me to coach with guys I played with the last number of years.
“Rugby is my passion, it’s all I’ve known. I’ve been doing it for 20 years, longer maybe, when I was a kid. But I think it’s important to step away from it to try another walk of life. And then we’ll see what happens.”
Sexton continues: “I’ll go and see if I can do something in the business world, I’ve been doing a bit of work experience there over the last few years, one day a week, so I’ll go into that and see how it goes.
“It might not be for me. I might get the itch straight away and come out of retirement, play for St Marys!”
The previous year saw a significant rise in accumulated profits at the management company owned by Johnny Sexton, the renowned rugby captain of Ireland.
The profits surged by nearly £307,000, reaching an impressive total of almost £2.5m.
Five players who underperformed in the World Cup quarter-finals
We take a look at five players who failed to perform in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
#1. Andrew Porter (Ireland)
Irish Independent 5/10: “Pinged twice in the opening minutes, once at the breakdown and once in the scrum. Indeed, he drew the whistle from Wayne Barnes in two of the game’s first three scrums. Running dialogue with the ref but seemed frustrated throughout.”
Planet Rugby 3/10: “His illegalities at the scrum finally caught up with him as Wayne Barnes continually penalised Porter for not driving straight. However, it was his needless infringement in the opening minute which set the tone.”
RUCK 5/10: “Penalised in an early scrum, as his hips were too wide in the pack. A big hit on Will Jordan on the 20th phase, as Ireland defended strong. Couldn’t support Doris in time for his carry, as the number eight was isolated, and Porter couldn’t stop Savea’s turnover. Penalised twice more in the scrum for the same offence, in a performance he would want to forget in the pack. “