Jonny Sexton has enjoyed a relaxing summer, despite the birth of his first child
Ireland fly-half Jonny Sexton says he's better prepared for this season after a manic summer this time last year.
A busy campaign with Leinster and Ireland in 2012/13 was followed by the Lions tour, getting married and then moving to Racing Metro in France.
From there the 29-year-old flew straight into a hectic season in the Top 14 and just weeks ago he became a father for the first time.
Yet Sexton, who scored four tries in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, admits he's ready and raring to go after a brief rest.
"I had a small break," he told the Irish Examiner. "Obviously my wife gave birth during that break, I stayed in Paris for those four weeks and ended up doing a little bit of training to keep sane.
"So it wasn't a holiday as such but it was a good break, better than last year. I had four weeks physical preparation and probably could have done with a couple more considering the season I had last year, but you take what you get.
"Last year was always going to be difficult in hindsight. Obviously we didn't say that at the time but we had 14 new players, all staff was new, half those new players didn't speak any French so it was always going to take time."
England Under-20s may have agonisingly missed out on a third straight World Rugby U20 Championship title on Saturday but head coach Jon Callard is adamant that fans are witnessing the next generation of international superstars.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.