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Madigan won't be fazed if needed at scrum-half

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 26/09/2015

Utility man: Ian Madigan is covering a number of roles
Utility man: Ian Madigan is covering a number of roles

Despite knowing that he may be forced into an emergency outing at scrum-half against Romania tomorrow afternoon, Ian Madigan is not struggling with the weight of added preparation.

The 26-year-old gets the nod at out-half for Ireland's second Pool D clash but is being relied upon to also cover Eoin Reddan and Conor Murray throughout the World Cup after Joe Schmidt chose to bring only two recognised No.9s to the tournament.

"If it happens in a big game you have got to really trust the guys around you," he said at Ireland's St George's Park training base yesterday.

"A big part of playing scrum-half is playing within what you have prepared that week, listening to your out-half, listening to the forwards around you and, if I go in with the mentality that I am going to do the basics well and listen to the guys around me, I'd be confident that I would be able to do the job.

"I'm not going in there looking to make scathing breaks or pulling off big plays, I'll go in there and facilitate the guys around me.

"If opportunities present themselves, that's well and good, but that's not how I will approach it."

Despite Test-level rugby requiring such mountainous levels of attention to detail, Madigan is not concerned by the extra homework involved in preparing for multiple positions.

"Joe is great at giving you a heads up early. I think for me, if it was a one-off week where suddenly you're covering two spots when you're used to just one, then it might be a bit daunting," he said.

"I think going into any game you've got to prepare for the different scenarios you might be faced with so (usually) if I'm on the bench, let's say with Simon Zebo, I probably know I won't be covering the back three.

"I'll be covering either out-half or centre so I'll prepare as best I can to cover those positions.

"It's no different for me this week and it's not something I feel daunted by. I'm starting at out-half but I know that if there was an injury in the centre then I might move out one and Paddy (Jackson) could come in at 10.

"If Joe wanted to run me at scrum-half then he'd move me into nine so I have to be prepared to know the plays and know the game-plan for that position and the other ones I could be covering.

"It's nothing different to any other week when I could be covering full-back or centre as well as out-half.

"I have had some great chats with Eoin and Murray, they have been generous with their time and given me advice on, if it does come to it, how I would cover the position.

"I know I am not going to be perfecting it when I go in there but if I do the basics well and facilitate the guys around me, I hope that will be enough."

Belfast Telegraph

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