Sunday 11 December 2016

Madigan sweating over Bordeaux's Champions Cup place

Published 22/04/2016 | 02:30

Ian Madigan at the launch of a new club rugby initiative, ‘Drop Kick for your Club’ at the Aviva Stadium which will take place at half-time during the Ulster Bank League Final in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday May 8. For more information visit www.facebook.com/UlsterBankRugby Photo: Sportsfile
Ian Madigan at the launch of a new club rugby initiative, ‘Drop Kick for your Club’ at the Aviva Stadium which will take place at half-time during the Ulster Bank League Final in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday May 8. For more information visit www.facebook.com/UlsterBankRugby Photo: Sportsfile

As Ian Madigan heads for the sunny south of France, he is joining a club that while very much on the rise, is also in danger of missing out on the Champions Cup next season.

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By his own admission, Madigan's decision to join Bordeaux Begles was based as much on lifestyle as career, but not playing amongst Europe's elite would further hinder his chances of being selected by Ireland.

Bordeaux lie in seventh place of the Top14 and are embroiled in a scrap with Toulouse and Castres for a place in the Champions Cup.

It would be a huge blow to Madigan if his new club don't qualify.

"Champions Cup next season is out of my control. It is not something I can affect. Look, that is just going to have to be a bridge I have to cross when I get there," he said at the launch of Ulster Bank's 'Drop Kick for your Club' at the Aviva Stadium.

Disappointing

"The way the Top 14 is, there are a lot of tough games. A lot of the games are decided by five points, seven points.

"They have been on the wrong side of that, lost the last three games, so it would be disappointing to not be in."

Madigan has endured a frustrating couple of seasons in terms of getting sufficient game-time in the No 10 jersey - at both provincial and international level - and although he admitted that he was advised against making the move to France, his mind was made up and he is determined to make it work.

"The conversation I had with Joe (Schmidt), he made it clear to me that he wants me to stay in Ireland and ultimately it's where we want Irish players playing," Madigan said.

"The IRFU have access to you, they can manage you, you're not overplayed, the fantastic medical facilities we have here . . . if you want to have mini-camps or if there's games outside the international window, they've got full control over that.

"That's very important, and if I was starting for Leinster, there's no way I'd move.

"I didn't want to move, but you've got to play the hand you're dealt and ultimately I felt that moving was the right option to improve so I can be as good as I can be if I get the opportunity to play for Ireland.

"I feel if I stay where I am at the moment that I don't deserve to be representing Ireland.

"If I am not starting for my club then there are other guys who are going to be starting in the other Irish provinces that given time and experience, they are going to pass me out."

Irish Independent

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