Ian Madigan ready to consider his options
The Leinster outhalf is being pursued by French Top 14 club Bordeaux-Begles
Ian Madigan: “I’ll weigh up the pros and cons of staying here, the pros and cons of going elsewhere, the ambitions of the other clubs.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Ian Madigan’s rugby future could be in France if he decides to turn down a contract extension with Leinster. The 26-year-old is being pursued by French Top 14 club, Bordeaux-Begles, while Montpellier, may also also be interested after Francois Trinh Duc confirmed that he would sign for Toulon next summer.
Madigan has already been linked with English Premiership club, Harlequins, and ambitious Championship side, Bristol, who are hoping to secure promotion to the elite division this season.
The Leinster and Ireland pivot is free to listen to offers as his Leinster contract is up for renewal at the end of the season. He has already stated on the record: “I’ll weigh up the pros and cons of staying here, the pros and cons of going elsewhere, the ambitions of the other clubs.
“The opportunities to play in the No 10 position, or the No 12 position, and the style of play of Leinster going forward, and the style of play of other clubs; that would be of interest.” He added that he would consult Ireland coach Joe Schmidt on any potential move to see how it would impact on his Irish ambitions.
Bordeaux-Begles, currently fifth in the French Top 14 table and competing in the Champions Cup as a result of beating Gloucester in a playoff last season, are an ambitious club, who fought their way up from ProD2 in 2011 and have stayed in the Top 14 since.
Potential successorRaphael IbanezEmile Ntamack
Former French international Lionel Beauxis (30), ex-Castres Olympique playmaker Pierre Barnard (26) and Romain Lonca (24) currently share the outhalf duties.
Montpellier, seventh in the Top 14 at present, have consistently made the playoffs in recent seasons and under the coaching baton of 2007 Springbok World Cup winning coach Jake White, are likely to seek out an outhalf with international experience.
Their options at 10 when Trinh Duc departs are South African Demetri Catakilis (26) and the versatile Ben Lucas; neither has played test rugby. It’s hardly a surprise that a player of Madigan’s ability, supplemented by impressive kicking stats, has attracted interest from the Top 14.
Meanwhile it was a hugely disappointing and in many respects damaging weekend for the Irish provinces in action in the Guinness Pro12. Leinster’s game against Glasgow was postponed.
Back spasmUlsterIain HendersonDarren CaveRoger Wilson
Everyone was scanned but there will be a further medical assessment and update this afternoon. Henderson and Cave are the most serious concerns with potentially medium term issues and the two Irish internationals, along with Nelson and Tuohy are unlikely to feature in Friday night’s home Champions Cup game against Toulouse.
Ulster hooker Rob Herring should be fit having despite picking up a knock during what proved an expensive 14-7 victory over Edinburgh. Connacht lost 20-16 to the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park but the injury legacy was even more debilitating with Quinn Roux, Ian Porter, Kieran Marmion, Craig Ronaldson and Eoin McKeon joining 16 other players ruled out prior to the match.
The western province finished the game with wing Matt Healy at scrumhalf – he played there for school and club previously – but with John Cooney having undergone surgery it is becoming a crisis position ahead of Friday night’s Challenge Cup match against the Newcastle Falcons at the Sportsground.
Munster’s pain will have come from a 22-6 defeat to the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade, marking a second consecutive defeat in the league. Coach Anthony Foley dismissed the notion that he had made too many changes from the loss to Connacht.
“We want to get our heads down now and make sure we get a performance against Leicester at home in Europe to stop this rot,” said Foley.