Girvan Dempsey expects Ian Madigan will be snapped up quickly
Leinster backs coach says Bordeaux player’s versatility is a really strong asset
Ian Madigan in action for Bordeaux-Bègles: “He’s too talented a guy not to be snapped up by a club,” says Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.
Following news of his potential move from Top 14 side Bordeaux-Bègles, Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey stated yesterday that he expects former RDS star Ian Madigan to be quickly snapped by any potential suitors.
Madigan has expressed an eagerness in returning home to Ireland next season – which would boost his chances of a recall to Joe Schmidt’s international squad – but a recent report by French rugby magazine Midi Olympique suggested that Northampton Saints are prepared to offer him a £500,000-a-year deal.
Dempsey believes the change in culture has been difficult for Madigan, but feels his versatility would make him an ideal acquisition for any club.
“It’s a challenge – different culture, different environment, language barriers. All those things are tough when you do change club. It’s something that he saw an opportunity in, and it’s something that he wanted to do and he took it,” Dempsey remarked at UCD.
“He’s too talented a guy not to be snapped up by a club. I imagine he’ll be picked up pretty quickly. I think Ian is a quality player, and I think that versatility and his ability to play anywhere across the back line is a really strong asset.”
The return of Jonathan Sexton from the Top 14 restricted Madigan’s opportunities in his favoured position of outhalf, and since his departure from Leinster, the Academy duo of Joey Carbery and Ross Byrne have blossomed during a promising campaign for Leo Cullen’s side.
Along with Nick McCarthy, Rory O’Loughlin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan and Peadar Timmins, Carbery and Byrne put pen to paper on senior contracts with the province, and Dempsey believes it was a fitting reward for the hard work they have produced at Guinness Pro12 and Champions Cup level.
“Ross has been excellent. He’s slotted in seamlessly and dealt with the pressure in his stride. He’s had no issues. Big occasions, no matter what the game, he’s handled it really, really well. It’s great to have a player of his quality.
“He obviously had a bit of frustration with injury last season and earlier this season. I think he’s come back stronger. He works so hard on all aspects of his game.
“Joey is obviously another quality player and has done really well. It’s great to have him back \[from his recent injury troubles\] as well. I think everyone forgets how young he is, because he’s had international exposure,” Dempsey added.