Johnny Sexton, the captain of Ireland rugby team, will miss his team's initial World Cup preliminary games after receiving a three-match ban for disrespecting match officials. Sexton acknowledged the accusation, which was based on his actions during Leinster's Champions Cup loss to La Rochelle in May.
The 38-year-old fly-half approached referee Jaco Peyper and other officials on the field and spoke disrespectfully at them during his last appearance. Thereafter, he had sustained an injury and did not participate in the game.
The behaviour of Sexton was deemed "obviously unsportsmanlike and brought the sport of rugby union into disrepute" by an independent disciplinary commission, which called for the ban. Notably, Sexton will not be allowed to participate in Ireland's games against Italy, England, and Samoa in August, but he will be cleared to play the Rugby World with Ireland going head-to-head with Romania in the opener on September 9.
In addition, Leinster received a £7,500 fine for failing to exert reasonable control over their players. By Wednesday, July 19, Sexton and Leinster have the option to challenge the rulings.
With four Six Nations championships, including Grand Slams in 2018 and 2023, and 100 caps for his nation, Sexton is one of the most seasoned and significant players on the Irish team. Between 2013 and 2017, he participated in six matches for the British and Irish Lions.
After the World Cup in France, when Ireland will compete against Romania, South Africa, Scotland, and Tonga in Pool B, he has opened up on his intention to retire.