herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Madigan's blessing in disguise

LEINSTER

The most critical selection issue for Ian Madigan moving forward is not where he plays, just that he plays for Leinster over the closing weeks.

The fact Madigan (pictured) has been selected at inside centre and Jimmy Gopperth at out-half against Glasgow Warriors tomorrow outlines the road ahead for Madigan (right).

Leinster have literally no room for error in the PRO12 League as they stand outside the play-off zone in fifth, with Bath coming to The Aviva on Saturday week for the Champions Cup quarter-final.

There is the opinion that the 26-year-old will have to consider his options at the end of his contract in the summer of 2016 given the return of Jonathan Sexton.

However, the fact Madigan has had to deliver from the inside centre berth for most of the season may yet turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Gordon D'Arcy's aging will leave a slot for what could be Madigan's best long-term option for club and country.

Leinster: Z Kirchner; F McFadden, B Te'o, I Madigan, D Kearney; J Gopperth, E Reddan; M Bent, R Strauss, M Moore, T Denton, M McCarthy, J Murphy, S Jennings (capt), J Conan.

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