Belfast Telegraph

Ian Madigan ponders a future away from Leinster

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ian Madigan is making no guarantees about his future beyond the end of the season and admits he may leave Leinster if the right offer comes along.

The out-half is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and has attracted interest from Bristol and Harlequins.

His home province will be keen to keep him, but with Johnny Sexton contracted until 2019, his chances of playing in his preferred position are slim.

The Dubliner will consult Ireland coach Joe Schmidt before making any decision and remains open to the idea of moving to another province if he feels it would benefit his international opportunities.

Schmidt opted for the 26-year-old when Sexton missed the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina but has previously preferred Ulsterman Paddy Jackson and Ian Keatley because of Madigan's lack of game time at out-half for Leinster.

"At the moment, just going through the process of weighing up my options," said Madigan.

"I'm still waiting for Leinster and the IRFU to get back, I'm waiting for my agent to come back to me on what interest is out there.

"Then we'll go from there. I'll weigh up the pros and cons of staying here, the pros and cons of going elsewhere, the ambitions of the other clubs.

"The opportunities to play in the No 10 position, or the No 12 position, and the style of play of Leinster going forward, and the style of play of other clubs that would be of interest... all the while, working closely with Joe Schmidt, and seeing what he thinks will be best for me moving forward in the Irish set-up.

"The process I went through with my last contract wasn't particularly long.

"Johnny (Sexton) had left, I was trying to get the starting No 10 shirt and it was a no-brainer for me to stay.

"Times have changed now, Johnny's come back on a long-term deal. It's a process you go through, if you find the right fit and it all adds up it can be done quite quickly."

Madigan conceded that a lucrative move to promotion-chasing Championship side Bristol would be a risk, but was full of praise for Harlequins when asked about Conor O'Shea's side.

He remains open to the idea of an inter-provincial switch.

For the moment, Madigan's main focus is on finding a solution to Leinster's woes, starting at home to Ulster tomorrow night.

Pro12 League: RDS, Friday, 7.35pm

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