Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Madigan expects open approach

Joe Schmidt's typical attacking blueprint is the best way to combat Australia's backline threats, believes Ian Madigan.

Madigan was Schmidt's front-foot general at Leinster, and would clearly love to reprise that role regularly now with Ireland.

Jonathan Sexton's return to full fitness suggests Madigan and Ulster's Paddy Jackson will battle for a seat on the bench against Australia on Saturday.

Whatever the squad for autumn international mark two, 24-year-old Madigan targeted a bullish, open approach from Ireland.

The former Blackrock College man explained: "I've worked with Joe for the last three years, and I know what he wants from his players and what he expects.

"I knew that with Joe coming in, he's a pretty special coach.

"There's certainly a feeling that something special's going to happen with the Irish team in the coming future.

"I'm just delighted to be part of it.

"Australia have improved a lot, Ewen McKenzie's getting his imprint on the team.

"They play a really good brand of rugby, you can see that they want to keep the ball in play.

"They'll run the ball from deep, they're an exciting team to watch."

New boss Schmidt admitted Ulster playmaker Jackson won the starting shirt for the five-try Samoa victory because of form and regular club opportunity.

Madigan has found his Leinster chances stymied so far this term by the arrival of pinpoint Kiwi goal-kicker Jimmy Gopperth from Newcastle Falcons.

But if Schmidt does intend to counter Australia's offensive instincts by following suit, Madigan's natural gain-line flair could win him the understudy role to Sexton.

Madigan replaced Brian O'Driscoll in Saturday's 40-9 Samoa victory, cutting the line neatly on occasion in the centres.

Happy for the opportunity, he conceded the odd bit-part role is hard to deconstruct.

He continued: "I wouldn't overly analyse a short 10-minute cameo like that.

"I'd maybe wait and analyse a group of three or four games where I'd come off the bench and see what I've done.

"The way the game fell for me in the 10 minutes was handy enough. I got the ball in space once or twice, I did fine."


From Belfast Telegraph