Home Rugby Madigan Punished By Cullen For Signing For Bordeaux

Madigan Punished By Cullen For Signing For Bordeaux

Leinster coach Leo Cullen has made 12 changes to the side to take on the Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday night but mercurial inside back Ian Madigan was not one of them, as the 26-year-old will start tomorrow night’s game from the bench.

With in excess of 30 players missing through Irish call ups (senior and Under 20s) and injury, Cullen was always going to field a much different side to the one at Coventry last weekend but amidst the glaring omissions and injuries, there is still no room for Ian Madigan in the starting XV.

With Johnny Sexton unavailable through international duty and Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose occupying the centres, St. Mary’s fly-half Cathal Marsh has been named at outhalf with Madigan to provide cover from the bench.

Marsh has played just eight times for Leinster compared to Madigan’s 138 caps for the province as it looks as if the outbound Madigan will not be named in Joe Schmidt’s opening Six Nations side to take on Wales next Sunday.

Ian Madigan in action for Ireland
Ian Madigan in action for Ireland

If the Blackrock playmaker was to start in Friday’s game at Rodney Parade, it could be conceived that Schmidt wants to see him play just one more time before deciding who should be Johnny Sexton’s back-up,  but with Madigan named on the bench it seems as if he is now on the peripherals for both club and country.

With Madigan set to depart for Bordeaux at the end of the season, its a clear sign from Cullen that he intends to develop Marsh as the province’s fly-half of the future.

Elsehwere, Luke McGrath has been named as captain for the first time in his career and he is joined in the starting lineup by fellow Academy products Ross Molony, James Tracey, Peter Dooley and Garry Ringrose, all of whom starred in the win over Bath a fortnight ago.

UCD winger Adam Byrne has also been promoted to the starting side and will receive just his second Leinster cap after making his debut for the club more than three years ago. Byrne became Leinster’s youngest ever player when he made his debut against Connacht at just 18 years and eight months, and the injury plagued flyer will now play for the first time since he made his Leinster debut in 2013.

The 21-year-old joins Fergus McFadden and Zane Kirchner in a new look back three as Leinster look to move to the top of the table with a win.

LEINSTER – Leinster caps in brackets:

15. Zane Kirchner (55)
14. Adam Byrne (1)
13. Garry Ringrose (10)
12. Ben Te’o (27)
11. Fergus McFadden (136)
10. Cathal Marsh (8)
9. Luke McGrath (38) CAPTAIN
1. Peter Dooley (10)
2. James Tracy (12)
3. Michael Bent (59)
4. Ross Molony (10)
5. Hayden Triggs (4)
6. Dominic Ryan (96)
7. Dan Leavy (8)
8. Jordi Murphy (68)

16. Richardt Strauss (121)
17. Jeremy Loughman (0)
18. Oisín Heffernan (0)
19. Tadhg Beirne (3)
20. Peadar Timmins (0)
21. Isaac Boss (130)
22. Ian Madigan (138)
23. Noel Reid (52)

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