Sport Rugby

Friday 23 February 2018

Paddy Jackson injury puts Ian Madigan back in Argentina mix

Ian Madigan
Ian Madigan
David Kelly

David Kelly

Leinster's Ian Madigan has been handed a dramatic reprieve by Joe Schmidt after injury forced Paddy Jackson out of next month's two-Test tour to Argentina.

Madigan had been slated to join the Emerging Ireland tour to Romania but it is now likely that Munster pair Ian Keatley, who remains behind Madigan in Schmidt's pecking order, and JJ Hanrahan will make that trip.

Jackson may have to undergo surgery on the complicated lower back problem that has plagued him for some time, although he is hopeful that a summer of rest may help improve the situation.

The Ulster out-half had been managing the injury but the hefty blow that forced him off in last Saturday's Pro12 semi-final prompted severe swelling in the area.

As a result, both Madigan and Keatley joined first-choice Johnny Sexton in the early week mini-camp, as cover, with Schmidt now opting to select the Leinster man in Jackson's place.

Leinster's intermittent starter Madigan was also drafted in to replace the luckless out-half on the bench for the Six Nations championship decider in Paris last spring.

Schmidt had indicated that a lack of game time at Leinster had militated against Madigan's chances of featuring, despite a scintillating try from the bench against Ulster that clinched his side's Pro12 final berth.

Jimmy Gopperth has been preferred for many of Leinster's crunch games this term by new head coach Matt O'Connor.

Madigan has seen his ambitions for this term frustrated by Gopperth's consistency.

Meanwhile, Bath and England remained silent last night amid reports fly-half George Ford will miss the summer tour to New Zealand because of shoulder surgery.

It is thought Ford will undergo an operation on the joint after Friday night's Amlin Challenge Cup final against Northampton.

Irish Independent

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