Another week which means another dose of bad news for Leinster. I won’t repeat myself about how it has been going, but we know it’s just not good enough. There are minimal excuses, the mixture of an unclear game plan with a confused looking team is taking a lot longer to gel than it should.
And then on top of that, the Accrington Stanley (who are they? Exactly) of English rugby have made an offer for the most important player in the Leinster organisation. That being Ian Madigan. The poor fella has been getting a rough time from the Leinster organisation for a couple of years now. It started with the departure of Sexton and continues with the great ones return.
When Sexton left it was coinciding with a fairly serious upturn in Madigan’s game management, control and percentage with the boot. It looked set to be his time to start and to bring up a player from the youth academy as his understudy, or at least bring in a player as the number 2. Instead of that happening, Jimmy Gopperth was brought in. A good steady player but not spectacular. Not a Leinster player, he is a Matt O’Connor player. Madigan took his medicine and kept the bench warm until the end of the season where he was played at 12 and won the blues the league but frightening defences, breaking lines and single headedly winning matches.
Then word came back that Sexton was returning. After a run of the mill two seasons in France with a lot of ups and downs he was coming home. The D4tress was buzzing with the news. News that was quickly followed by the signing of Isa Nacewa.
Now I am cynical as you know ted, but it appears to me that these signings where to try and distract everyone from a horrible season and it worked very well.
Which brings us to now. Bristol, a division 2 team, have allegedly made a huge offer to lure Madigan away. Forgetting the fact that Bristol is about as exactly as 1989, let’s look at the pros and cons of this.
The pros for leaving are that he will be playing every week, he will be in the premiership next season. He will be in charge of the team from the 10 position and it will be a huge learning experience for him.
The cons are…………
Well I can’t really think of any. He is getting no game time here, far less money and while he is staying healthy by not playing he is leaving a huge amount of money on the table that he would be making if he was starting. Madigan has a better kicking percentage than Sexto with more go forward magic, he is slightly behind him in terms of game management but that is because Leinster Inc. have left him on the bench any chance they have gotten.
The organisation has really let the player down, how can Madigan motivate himself when he would be correct in thinking that there is no chance of him getting a run in 1 position. This is a player that the IRFU should be bending over backwards to keep. We need cover at 10 and he showed against France that he is far ahead of any other option, and at times, would be the better choice at starting 10.
Controversial but I believe that to be the case. Sexto hasn’t shown form in a long time. He is a legend of Leinster who started the comeback against Northampton that will live on forever. But it hasn’t been the best couple of years for him. I do hope that that turns around, he certainly has the strength to do it, but that needs to be balanced with the need to keep Ian Madigan in the team.
We cannot be surprised if Madigan leaves. IF he takes the offer to the IRFU and demands 1 more penny, they will know he is serious. If they let him go, they lose control of their player.
For me, they either have to invest in the player and find a way to get the required playing time to match the investment. If they do that, then it is up the Madigan to see if he trusts an organisation that hasn’t been looking out for him up to this point.
As usual, @nkeegan is where you can find me.