Jonathan Sexton explains why Leinster falling short last season was a blessing in disguise

Ireland international was speaking at Off The Ball's Mansion House show

BY Raf Diallo 20:51 Thursday 11 May 2017, 20:51 11 May 2017

Jonathan Sexton feels winning last season's Guinness Pro 12 could have been the worst thing to happen to this current Leinster group. 

The province lost the final Connacht but have sought self improvement and rebounded with younger players to the fore, performing well in this season's Pro 12 and advancing as far as the European Rugby Champions Cup semis. 

And Sexton who was speaking on stage at Off The Ball's Mansion House Roadshow feels missing out on victory in 2015-16 was a blessing in disguise.  

"I think it would have been the worst thing that could have happened if we had won the Pro 12, then everyone kind of thinks it's OK, 'we'll improve in Europe and did enough to win a trophy' because it's hard enough to win a trophy," said the Ireland and Leinster out half, who saw last season as a "failure" and credited Graham Henry with telling the leadership group of players some home truths about the shortcomings of that campaign.

"Hopefully we get what we deserve this year because an incredible amount of work has gone in and hopefully we can win a trophy to show that." 

Sexton also touched on the dealing with media scrutiny as a high profile player and how he tries to stay away from reading what's in the papers.

"I do try and stay away from it because I do care what people write and people say so I can't get bogged down by that," he said, before touching on the difference to when he was 23-24.

"There were times when I used to race to the shop on a Sunday morning to see what everyone thought. The older you get... it's not good for you."

But he did reveal that he is on Twitter secretly: "I'm an egg, yeah. Course I am."

Asked about his shortlived spell in France with Racing 92 and whether it was "good, bad or indifferent", he responded "all of the above", before adding more seriously that it was "great" in many ways and that he had gone there with the mindset of staying for the remainder of his career.

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