Jonathan Sexton: "Culturally we are nowhere near where we were" in Leinster's golden era

Ireland out-half chats to Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy

Jonathan Sexton, Leinster

Jonathan Sexton ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan 

Johnny Sexton has admitted that Leinster are "culturally nowhere near" where they were in their Heineken Cup-winning era.

The Ireland out-half was speaking to Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy towards the end of a season which saw Leinster knocked out of the pool stage of this season's Champions Cup, which is a far cry from the time when the province won three Heineken Cups.

"Culturally we are nowhere near where we were when we were winning those trophies. That's the biggest thing since I've come back," said Sexton.

"We're not within touching distance of it and people can kid themselves otherwise, but I think that's the biggest issue and we've got to get that right first and foremost because you can't do anything without those issues being resolved."

But he also spoke about making improvements next season as Leinster build a new team.

And he also praised some of the younger players, stating that they are the ones "setting the example".

"Guys like Josh van der Flier, Garry Ringrose ... these are the guys that other guys should be looking up to."

He also spoke about the media storm which surrounded stories about head knocks and concussion and how that affected him and the people around him.

"It was disappointing but the people that report on it without any basis should really be the ones that are more disappointed than me," he said.

And on the talk of tackling high leading to more concussions, he responded: "People say tackle high and you're going to get more concussions is just ... I just can't get over it - and these people are involved in rugby. It just baffles me. Have they done a study? Do they have any evidence to suggest this or are they throwing it out there just for the craic?"