Wednesday 24 July 2019

'He's the man for the job' - Ian Madigan on Leo Cullen's Leinster appointment

Ian Madigan
Ian Madigan

Tom Rooney

Ian Madigan is fully confident that Leinster have made the smart choice in appointing Leo Cullen as their new Head Coach.

The province announced on Tuesday that former captain Cullen, who served as forwards coach for last season’s ultimately disappointing campaign under the erstwhile Matt O’Connor, had been awarded a two year deal at the top of a brand new coaching ticket.

Madigan is both relieved and elated by the development and believes with Cullen now installed on a full-time basis, as supposed to the interim role he had filled immediately after O’Connor’s departure, stability will be restored in south Dublin.

“I’m delighted it’s been finalised and announced,” he said, “I think he’s the man for the job. For me, I was very keen on having a coach coming in for a period of time longer than a year and I think it is brilliant Leo has got a two year deal. For him to have been given just a year would have left uncertainty. It was unsettling for the squad last year with Matt (O’Connor).”

Understandably, the appointment will have raised a few eyebrows given Cullen’s dearth of coaching experience, and that of temporary backs coach Girvan Dempsey as well as new scrum coach John Fogarty, but Madigan is convinced the man who captained him to two Heineken Cups and a Pro 12 title is more than able for the undertaking which awaits him.

“From playing under him and the leadership he showed there would instil a huge amount of confidence in him as a coach.  In how he worked with Matt last year, I thought they were a very good team.

 “I don’t think he or the club will be looking to use that as an excuse (lack of experience). That team of four are in there because they’re the right people for the job. There’s no doubt from the time Matt left, the guys wanted Leo in there,” he said.

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