Madigan admits he might have stayed

Madigan admits he might have stayed
15 April 2016; Ian Madigan, Leinster. Guinness PRO12 Round 20, Leinster v Edinburgh. RDS Arena, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Ian Madigan admitted that he would have considered staying in Ireland if a province had offered him a contract.

Despite being linked with Munster, the fly-half agreed to sign for Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles on a two-year deal last December.

He confessed that he settled on a move southwest France quickly and that any Irish advances were either too late or not concrete enough.

“The option that presented itself in Bordeaux was one that came up early on and one that I was committed to from an early stage,” Madigan said.

21 April 2016; Former Blackrock College RFC star Ian Madigan today launched a new club rugby initiative, ‘Drop Kick for your Club’, which will take place at half time during the Ulster Bank League Final in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday 8th May. Ulster Bank is calling on players around the country to enter for a chance to drop-kick and win €10,000 for their club. The challenge will give four participants; one selected from each province, a chance to nail a drop-kick from 32 metres on the Aviva Stadium pitch during half time of the club final. Each contestant will receive €2,500 for their club just for taking part and if someone lands the kick, a further €10,000 will be donated to their club. If more than one kicker is successful the prize will be shared. For full details and to enter check out www.facebook.com/UlsterBankRugby. Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Ian Madigan. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

“The other options in Ireland never really got to a stage where they were viable for me because I was so far down the line with Bordeaux.

“It’s definitely something I would have thought of but it never really came to fruition.”

The stand-off, who has made 29 appearances for Ireland, now risks not being selected for the national side.

He will not be able to leave Bordeaux’s training camps outside the allotted international slots and revealed that Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt wanted him to stay in his homeland.

Madigan admits he might have stayed

“Joe made it clear that he wanted me to stay in Ireland and, ultimately, it’s where he wants Irish players playing,” Madigan explained.

“The IRFU have access to you, they can manage you, you’re not overplayed, the fantastic medical facilities we have here, if you want to have mini-camps or there are games outside the international window, they’ve got full control over that.”

However, the Leinsterman actually sees his move as an opportunity to enhance and prolong his international career.

He added that, since he was behind Johnny Sexton in the pecking order at his native province, remaining there would have only hindered his hopes of playing for Ireland.

He said: “Part of the reason I am moving to Bordeaux is to improve myself as a player and to prolong my international career.

“I think in moving, challenging myself, experiencing new players, new coaches, and a new league, I am going to improve myself as a player.

“I am still young enough that I can hopefully continue playing for Ireland while I am there.

“Whereas I feel if I had stayed where I am at the moment, I wouldn’t deserve to be representing Ireland.
“If I am not starting for my club and there are other guys starting in the other Irish provinces; given time and experience they are going to pass me out.”

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