Saturday 16 December 2017

IRFU save €750,000 as Madigan signs new deal

Ian Madigan, who has signed a new deal
Ian Madigan, who has signed a new deal

David Kelly and Conor George

Ian Madigan has signed a new deal that will, according to some industry sources, at least double his salary, but also save the IRFU an estimated €750,000 per annum.

The confirmation of Madigan's contract extension with Leinster was notable in that it means the IRFU now have no centrally contracted out-half.

Last season, both Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara were paid directly by the IRFU. Their combined salaries were understood to be around €750,000.

This means the cash-strapped coffers of rugby HQ have made a significant saving as Leinster were forced to stump up the bill for the player's vastly improved new contract extension.

However, after losing Sexton to France last season, there is a danger Leinster could face a repeat of the situation with Madigan when his term comes to an end in 2016.

Leinster lost Sexton to France this summer after the IRFU refused to engage in a bidding war.

The IRFU has already confirmed a loss in projected earnings of €26m from the sale of long-term Aviva seats and a deficit of €4.5m and they have recently cut central contract numbers by some 50pc.

Madigan featured 32 times for the province last season in a campaign which also saw him earn the first of his four Ireland caps to date.

The 24-year-old out-half – previously paid a basic provincial salary which are normally worth around €80,000 – said: "It was a no-brainer for me. I'm from Leinster. I grew up supporting Leinster and my friends play here. I'm thrilled."

New Leinster coach Matt O'Connor was pleased to confirm the deal.

"We are delighted that Ian has extended his stay with Leinster," he said. "We are confident that his best years are ahead of him and he can achieve even greater things in the years to come."

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