Ronan O'Gara didn't hold back with his thoughts on Johnny Sexton Ban - Ruck

Ronan O’Gara didn’t hold back with his thoughts on Johnny Sexton Ban

Ronan O’Gara has been giving his reaction after fresh concerns have emerged regarding Johnny Sexton’s behavior during the Champions Cup final, following the acquisition of additional footage by City A.M.

Get your tickets to the Rugby World Cup matches at viagogo, the world’s leading ticket marketplace. Find out how by clicking here.

This newly obtained video reveals another incident wherein the Irish fly-half, wearing the No. 10 jersey, appears to require intervention to prevent him from confronting match officials.

The footage, accessible below, forms the focal point of an inquiry conducted by the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

This investigation poses a significant risk to Sexton’s aspirations of concluding his rugby union career at the upcoming World Cup.

Sexton has been accused of three instances of misconduct and has been notified about it through a letter from the EPCR.

Receiving a misconduct letter is a typical step in the disciplinary process, and Sexton is said to have received it during the latter part of last week. 

Both Sexton and Leinster have been given an opportunity to respond to the letter before the officials determine the subsequent course of action.

Sexton is alleged to have directed offensive language towards the three on-pitch officials, namely Peyper, Dickson, and Christophe Ridley, the other linesman.

To compound matters for the fly-half, distressing news emerged late last night suggesting that Sexton might be compelled to retire prematurely due to a 24-week suspension.

Advertisement

According to Section 9.28 of the rulebook governing European rugby, it explicitly states, “A player must refrain from employing intimidating gestures or utterances directed at Match Officials.”

In light of his alleged act of intimidating match officials following Leinster’s defeat to La Rochelle in the European Champions Cup final last month, Sexton is confronted with a potential mid-range penalty. If proven guilty, he could face a 24-week ban.

While the maximum punishment for such an offense could extend up to five years, it is believed to be improbable in this case.

If Sexton is found guilty but only of a minor offense, he would still be subject to a 12-week ban, which would effectively render him ineligible for participation in this year’s World Cup.

O’Gara reaction:

His former teammate and adversary O’gara said: “Johnny’s a competitor, a great guy, there shouldn’t be a ban for Johnny. There shouldn’t be! I’d be strong in that.

“I didn’t see any videos but I know the character very well, an insane competitor, maybe his temper flared over for a second or two but the guy is a role model in Irish rugby, in what he has done, I think people need to move on with it.”

He added: “It’s something that’s been completely stirred up depending on different people’s agendas.”

NIGEL OWENS DREAM XV:

Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Fixtures for the Six Nations - Round 1

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO