Eddie O'Sullivan gives his take on Ian Madigan not being included in Ireland's Six Nations squad

The versatile out half is playing in France with Bordeaux

Ian Madigan, rugby, Bordeaux Begles

Bordeaux-Begles' Ian Madigan ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ian Madigan was one of the players not included in Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad for the 2017 Six Nations. 

Having moved to France last summer to play with Bordeaux Begles, the versatile former Leinster player had been expected to miss out.

Speaking to Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan after Bordeaux defeated Ulster in the European Rugby Champions Cup but before the squad was named, Madigan said: "Joe and the IRFU want their players in Ireland so they can control game time. They can have mini-camps, which can be very important... I completely understand that. For me it's about improving as a player. If I do get the opportunity to wear green, it's the ultimate for me."

Another player based outside of Ireland who was left out came in the shape of prop Marty Moore, with the 25 year old front row now playing for English Premiership club Wasps. 

Ex-Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan joined Off The Ball to reflect on Schmidt's squad and the case of Madigan. 

Marty Moore

"There does seem to be a harder line now for some reason. I don't know if anyone's come out and said it or it's been nailed to the wall or anything but I think it is going to be harder for guys like Madigan to break in. He is No 3 [out half]. If he wasn't No 3, you could nail it to the wall based on his form," he said.  

O'Sullivan also compared the current policy regarding players based abroad to his own time in charge of Ireland. 

"It's a harder policy now than when I was coach.  There wasn't really a policy of excluding overseas players. There seems to be a policy now if you look at it closely," he said, citing the regular inclusion of Geordan Murphy for example.

"I was never told or instructed that we shouldn't pick overseas guys. We picked them. There were overseas guys that didn't get picked and felt like that was the reason they didn't get picked. But that was never the case."

On Moore, O'Sullivan feels he's "good enough" to be in the squad and would have him ahead of Connacht's Finlay Bealham. 

O'Sullivan also gave his take on the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter final ties which have pitted Munster against Toulouse and Leinster up against Wasps, with the former Ireland head coach feeling that Leo Cullen's side have drawn the "short straw" with that latter fixture.