‘I’ve never seen Joe Schmidt run so fast.’
Johnny Sexton once became involved in a physical altercation with an under-20s player during an Ireland training session, according to Jamie Heaslip.
The senior Ireland team and the under-20s Ireland team often have a training match as preparation for the Six Nations Championship, and one year things got a little heated.
One youngster, who has remained unnamed, got on the nerves of the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year, leading coaches to intervene in the usually “old-school” session.
‘To wind up Johnny wasn’t hard’
“Those Under-20s vs the seniors games – there’s always a bust-up. The coaches in fairness, there was a bit of old school about it, so neither the U20s coach or the senior coach would get involved.
“Except for one time, the only time they got involved, was when Johnny Sexton got in a fight with one of the fellas. I’ve never seen Joe Schmidt run as fast to break up the fight.
“To wind Johnny up wasn’t exactly hard, particularly in training,” Heaslip told Rugby Lad‘s Up and Under podcast.
While most would probably assume that the international rugby veteran, and current Ireland captain, got the better of the youngster, Simon Zebo indicated that the opposite was true.
“Johnny [Sexton] was getting a hiding from a 19-year old and his daddy [Joe Schmidt] ran in to save him,” Zebo posted on Twitter.
Johnny was getting a hiding from a 19yo and his daddy ran in to save him 😂🙄
— Simon Zebo (@SimonZebo) October 14, 2020
Its not the only time that Sexton has gotten into a scrap with a player much younger than him. Munster’s Fineen Wycherly got on his nerves in one festive inter-provincial derby.
‘Fáilte chuig @thomondstadium‘ – Ní raibh Johnny Sexton sásta le Fineen Wycherley anseo!#MUNvLEI@Munsterrugby forward Fineen Wycherley welcomes @leinsterrugby captain to Thomonmd Park! @PRO14Official ar @TG4TV pic.twitter.com/ns1zYqmkp4
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) December 29, 2018
Wycherly, who was 21 at the time, did have a bit of a size advantage over Sexton, in fairness.