Lions Boss Warren Gatland Set To Have Showdown Talks With Johnny Sexton
Warren Gatland is set to have showdown talks with Johnny Sexton before considering him for Lions selection next summer.
The Ireland and Leinster outhalf was Gatland’s first choice ten in 2013, but has suffered with a multitude of injuries over the past number of seasons, unable to get a good run going for club and country.
Hit latest setback occurred against the All Blacks in Dublin, where Sexton damaged his other hamstring, after having problems with one already. The setback has many calling for a sabbatical for the playmaker, including Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.
A fit and healthy Sexton can challenge anyone of the ten’s available to Gatland for a Test spot, but whether or not he can stay fit and and healthy, remains to be seen. Speaking yesterday, Gatland said it was very important for Sexton to ‘get through the Six Nations’.
Gatland also told reporters that he would be having showdown talks with Sexton, to prepare him for all eventualities were he to make the wider squad.
“It’s making sure I do my job properly. You look at the quality of someone like Johnny Sexton and the experience he’s had.
“The conversation with Jonny might be, ‘We might take you on tour. There’s been a little bit of concern about your durability. If you do pick up a knock or an injury and you’re out for a couple of weeks, the quality of the squad is such that someone else could step into your shoes and when you come back, normally when you come back in an Irish situation, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out, you go straight back into the team as number one.
“‘’If you come into a Lions situation, if someone is playing well, you might not be going back into that starting side as the 10, you might be sitting on the bench or not involved. How are you going to be able to handle that? Are you going to be prepared for that? What’s your attitude around the team and squad going to be like?'”
No doubt, when Sexton is fit, he’s one of the very best. Whether or not he will be come June, remains to be seen.