Monday 24 October 2016

Duel in Bordeaux for Madigan and Jackson

Paddy Jackson. Pic: Sportsfile
Paddy Jackson. Pic: Sportsfile

Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson are on course for a personal dual when Bordeaux-Begles host Ulster in The Champions Cup at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Sunday.

"Paddy is improving every year he is getting older," said Madigan.

"He is a quality player and they have an excellent team and a quality coach. We know what we are up against."

Bordeaux aren't looking too shoddy either, stationed at fifth in the Top-14 from five wins out of the opening eight rounds.

It all makes for a fascinating comparison between the French club and the leaders of the PRO12 League.

"Ulster will be a great challenge, with the signings they have made and the age profile, they will be a year better," noted Madigan.

Connacht may well have to do without their Ireland lock Quinn Roux and scrum-half Kieran Marmion in what is sure to take a Herculean effort to see off Toulouse at The Sportsground on Saturday.

Roux is following his return-to-play protocols from a concussion suffered at a training session last week.

Marmion is recovering from a calf strain sustained against Edinburgh, although Caolan Blade has filled in well in his place at scrum-half.

The experience of Roux and Marmion is really badly needed in order to compensate for the guaranteed loss of hooker Tom McCartney (hamstring), prop Denis Buckley (knee) and wing Matt Healy (hand).

Flanker Sean O'Brien (ankle) and centres Eoin Griffin (hamstring) and Rory Parata (knee) are rated better chances of playing than back rower Eoin McKeon (chest) and Peter Robb (hip).

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