Sexton show his true class
So, Johnny Sexton’s name gets carved into history alongside the inaugural winner Keith Wood – the only pair of Irishmen to be named world player of the year. It was never in doubt. Not after 2009 when Brian O’Driscoll – a judge in Monte Carlo – topped the try scoring count in Europe for Leinster and the Six Nations while guiding one to European and the other Grand Slam glory. O’Driscoll threw in a phenomenal Lions tour, until knocking himself out with a ridiculous tackle that badly concussed Springbok flanker Danie Rossouw in the second Test. The 2009 winner was eight-time nominee Richie McCaw.
Sexton’s flawless year, which ended with a physically impressive showing to defeat Beauden Barrett’s All Blacks, was enough to convince McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi, Clive Woodward, Fabien Galthie and Agustín Pichot on last Monday’s conference call. It means Le Drop in Paris and every thing that followed is put on a global pedestal. He even drove to Cork to shake Ronan O’Gara’s hand before his former nemesis moved the family to New Zealand. “[Sexton] deserves it not only for his on field qualities but also for his off field,” tweeted O’Gara. “Never had it easy, played AIL for years, nearly lost his Leinster contract but kept persevering. A brilliant player, but a better person with great values.”