sport

Heaslip seeks Sexton return

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip admits Jonny Sexton will be 'welcomed with open arms' if he completes a return to the Pro 12 side.

Sexton left the province in January last year to seal a lucrative move to Racing Metro, but has rejected the chance to extend his stay in France and is expected to rejoin Leinster on a four-year deal.

Heaslip has continued to play alongside Sexton for Ireland and is fully aware of the fly-half's qualities.

He is yet to learn whether the 29-year-old has agreed the move, but believes he is in constant contact with many of his old team-mates.

"Yeah it's always great to play with Jonny," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "I loved playing with him when he was at Leinster and I love playing with him when I get the chance with Ireland.

"I don't think anyone would say they wouldn't want to play with Jonny.

"I don't know where it is in terms of people talking, but he knows what is going on in the clubhouse. He is talking to all of us all the time, some of his best mates are in the changing room.

"He knows what is going on. He knows what the atmosphere is, knows he will be welcomed with open arms in terms of the playing side and I'm pretty sure the management will be delighted to have him.

"But it's kind of up to Johnny what he will do, but whatever decision he makes, I think everyone will back him."

Heaslip was also previously linked with a move to France, but opted to remain in Dublin.

He refused to suggest that Sexton's return has justified his decision and would not rule out a move to the continent in the future.

"I made the right decision that was for me," he said. "The business side of rugby, there is all kind of things that go on, people are all in different positions. Everyone's situation is their own and none is the same.

"Jonny had to make his decision. When he made it I rang him straight away and said: 'You've got to do what you do for yourself and your family'. That's how it transpired for him.

"It was a little bit different for me. Let's see what happens down the road, you never know what will happen."