Sunday 22 April 2018

Brian O'Driscoll offers unique reason why Ian Madigan was never likely to join Munster

Ronan O'Gara and Ian Madigan as international team-mates
Ronan O'Gara and Ian Madigan as international team-mates
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

As Leinster prepares itself for the departure of Ian Madigan to France, Brian O'Driscoll has offered reasons why a move to rivals Munster was never a likely option – including a clash of hairstyles.

Madigan today announced that he will be leaving Leinster at the end of the current season to join Top 14 side Bordeaux Bègles, putting to bed speculation over the next chapter of his career.

Harlequins and Bristol were also interested in acquiring the services of the 26-year-old, while it was rumoured that the IRFU were looking into the possibility of the Dubliner moving to Munster to get more game time in the number 10 jersey.

His former provincial and international team-mate Brian O'Driscoll, who earlier tweeted in jest he was making the move for financial reasons, listed two reasons why he felt Madigan turning out in the red of the two-time European champions was never a likely option.

Firstly, Madigan's playing style was perhaps not what Anthony Foley's side would look for in a 10, though it was the second part of his answer which was slightly more tongue-in-cheek

Speaking on Brian O', the Irish rugby legend joked that the contrast in hair styles from what Munster fans were used to from Ronan O'Gara meant it was a non-runner.

Ian Madigan
Ian Madigan

"It just seems like too much of a contrast in hairstyles between the high and tight of his own and Rog's mushroom haircut for the duration of his career," he said.

"It would just seem too weird."

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When discussing Madigan's strengths, O'Driscoll argues that Bordeaux are getting one of the most exciting players in Irish rugby.

"Bordeaux are getting a fantastic, high-end goal kicker, very high percentage. A guy that likes to offer fast, running rugby.

"He'll play what he sees."

Madigan has grown tired of playing understudy to Johnny Sexton, Jimmy Gopperth and Sexton again but admits the decision to leave his home province was a difficult one.

"While this was a very difficult decision for me to make, leaving the club that I have represented my whole professional life, I feel that the timing is right and it is a challenge that I'm looking forward to," said Madigan.

"Bordeaux Begles are a team that are making strides in the Top 14 and in Europe and I look forward to being part of that journey and to experiencing a new style of rugby and a new life in France.

"I'd like to thank everyone in Leinster Rugby for their support over the years."

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