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Ian Madigan poised to step into crucial out-half role


Ian Madigan

Ian Madigan

Ian Madigan

Ian Madigan could be on the verge of getting a crack at out-half for Leinster against Harlequins in The Rugby Champions Cup on Sunday.

Scrum coach Marco Caputo pronounced Madigan as "more than likely to play" as long as he can prove his fitness at training tomorrow.

"For me, there aren't too many players in the world who can kick consistently as well as he does.

"You know when Ian Madigan is on the field, nine times-out-of-ten, he's going to bang them over for you."

The utility back rolled his ankle on Saturday night: "The swelling has gone down, He will be heavily strapped up (at training) tomorrow.

"He is a player who doesn't usually play with too much strapping. He likes to keep his ankles free so he can kick the ball, so that mightn't be an option."

The Ireland international has become one of those players Leinster need on the field, no matter where he plays.

The indifferent form of Jimmy Gopperth has been a concern, with Madigan prevented from taking over by the necessity to fill gaps elsewhere.

Full-back Rob Kearney and inside centre Gordon D'Arcy are back from Ireland duty, freeing up Madigan, although D'Arcy could move one out to thirteen if Fergus McFadden does not fit the bill there.

Leinster will probably "err on the side of caution" when it comes to Richardt Strauss's hamstring.

However, the form of Academy hooker Bryan Byrne enables Leinster to take a soft option on Strauss given how the 21-year-old Ballickmoyler rookie has handled the step up to first team action.

"He was thrown into the deep end and has proven to us that he can play at that level and survive that intensity," said Caputo.

Ireland international front rowers Sean Cronin, Mike Ross and Jack McGrath will all be back to boost resources there.

Other than that, the Australian pronounced a positive outlook about the prospects of concussed second rows Kane Douglas and Mike McCarthy.

Once again, Luke Fitzgerald is in the frame for selection in what is a day-to-day process and scrum-half Isaac Boss has recovered from illness to compete with Eoin Reddan and Luke McGrath.