Johnny Sexton has a great eyebrow. You can see it in motion, captured by Inpho.ie photographer Billy Stickland in the image above taken airside at Dublin airport yesterday.
Sexton was there to promote Aer Lingus ahead of the upcoming trip to Chicago for game against the All Blacks at Soldier Field.
He’s a young man playing at the top of his sport and he is one more comfortable letting his actions talk rather than his words.
That said he was in relaxed form at Aer Lingus’ Head Office yesterday, fully engaging with a mixed collection of reporters asking about hamstrings, history and residence rules.
Whether Sexton is fearful of the rise of Joey Carbery at Leinster or Tyler Bleyendaal’s likely ‘becoming’ Irish in the coming years is something that only he knows. Even his eyebrow was giving nothing away when asked the question.
He is a decent guy, who feels perhaps that discussion in the past of concussion issues were ill informed and causing distress to himself and more importantly his family.
He’s over it though and looking forward to Chicago and to doing what he can to be the best he can from province and country.
He wryly wondered why they hadn’t asked him for a coffee when asked about Gary Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw’s new found friendliness on and off the pitch but again it was with a humorous smile as opposed to anything else.
Sexton is more comfortable in himself that he was. Experience gives you that and he is a fine ambassador for Aer Lingus who produced some brilliant activation around last year’s Rugby World Cup and will be seeking to revisit that with the #HomeAdvantage campaign over the coming weeks.
He’s also more of a traditionalist. We discovered yesterday that he found out about Joe Schmidt’s decision to stay on as manager from listening to the news. That’s not nearly as ‘on trend’ as Jamie Heaslip who the previous day revealed at a Vodafone sponsorship launch that he found out on Instagram.
In an era where we want to know everything but players and managements are ever more guarded about what’s released this is as good as it gets in terms of getting under the skin of players.
Then again, we support them for what they do on the field not for what they do on their phones.