Madigan to make Bordeaux switch


Ireland fly-half Ian Madigan will leave Leinster at the end of the season to join Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles.

The 26-year-old had been linked with Bordeaux for a number of weeks, with his Leinster contract coming to an end at the conclusion of the current campaign.

Two-time Six Nations winner Madigan, who deputised for Johnny Sexton when he was injured during the Rugby World Cup, has now agreed terms to make the move to France on a two-year deal.

He told Leinster's official website: "While this was a very difficult decision for me to make, leaving the club that I have represented my whole professional life, I feel that the timing is right and it is a challenge that I'm looking forward to.

"Bordeaux Begles are a team that are making strides in the Top 14 and in Europe and I look forward to being part of that journey and to experiencing a new style of rugby and a new life in France."

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen does not begrudge Madigan making the decision to leave the three-time European champions and thinks he may return for a second spell at the club.

He said: "Ian has been a tremendous servant to Leinster and Irish rugby and we wish him well with his move abroad. We fully understand his motivations for deciding to join Bordeaux.

"Ian has come through the Leinster Academy and age grade system and at 26 still has a huge future in the game and we may see him return to Leinster at some point. 

"The key thing for us all now is that we are fully focused on a huge game on Friday against Connacht. After some really pleasing parts to our last performance it's vital that we build on that and look to continually improve."

Madigan has made 135 appearances for Leinster since making his debut in May 2009, scoring 765 points in the process and winning the two European Cups, a Challenge Cup and two Pro12 titles.