Ian Madigan: It's great to get the number 10 jersey – it's my favourite place to play
Ian Madigan says he was delighted to get the number 10 jersey for the final Leinster game of the season, admitting it is his favoured position.
The versatile Irish international has spent considerable time this season at inside centre and with Johnny Sexton set to return to his native province in the summer, Madigan is likely to feature in more than one position again next season.
The 26-year-old was handed the number 10 jersey for the final run-out in the 36-28 win away to Edinburgh and says the pivotal position is his preferred choice.
"It’s great to get back into the shirt, it’s my favourite place to play and you get so many involvements playing at out half and that you’re involved for the whole eighty minutes," he told independent.ie at the launch of the Irish Rugby kit launch for the upcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Madigan is keenly aware that competition from within the country, never mind Racing Metro's Sexton, is intense. Ulster's Paddy Wallace is having a strong end of season, while Munster's Ian Keatley has had another consistent season, and earned his first Six nations start for Ireland earlier this year.
Both players will feature this weekend in the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals.
“I think Paddy is playing some great stuff the past few weeks and has Ian Keatley, he’s been playing very consistently for Munster and I’m looking forward to seeing the two guys and seeing what they can bring at the weekend”.
Madigan also revealed that Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who he knows well from his four years with Leinster, has demanded that players make sure to get adequate rest with a World Cup campaign on the horizon.
“Joe has made it very clear the standards that have to be met that he should have a rest and not do anything stupid," he said.
The Leinster star also revealed the emphasis Schmidt places on the team dynamic during what could potentially be a long time together in camp at the 2015 World Cup.
“Joe is very big on it [team bonding], I’ve worked by him the past four years and he’ll have a few things up his sleeve to keep the camp entertained and that there will be no signs of burnout from any of the players."
Luke Fitzgerald, who will spend 12 weeks on the sidelines after shoulder reconstruction, admits he should have addressed the problem before now.
"I hurt my shoulder tackling Munster's Dougie Howlett back in 2011 in the 2011 Pro 12 final," he said, adding that he hopes to be back in time for the World Cup warm-up games.