Ian Madigan has confirmed that he's leaving Leinster

The versatile player has taken the decision that his future in rugby lies outside Ireland

Ian Madigan, ireland, Leinster,

Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

After weeks of rumours and speculation, Ian Madigan has made a decision about his future and will leave Leinster to play in France. 

The versatile player, who has played at out-half and center for the province, will join Bordeaux Bègles in the French Top 14. 

In an official statement on the Leinster website, head coach Leo Cullen admitted that Madigan would be a huge loss, but they understand his desire to move.

"Ian has been a tremendous servant to Leinster and Irish rugby and we wish him well with his move abroad," said Cullen. "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.

Strong speculation in France had linked Madigan to Bordeuax earlier this month, stating that talks were at an advanced stage and that he had even been to see their facilities as he was getting ready to put pen to paper.

Speaking on Off The Ball just over a week ago, Brian O'Driscoll stated that he felt it would be a good move for him and backed him to succeed in a new environment. 

"I hope Ian Madigan, if he does go down there [to Bordeaux] starts at 10 or wherever he wants to play and I hope he earns very, very well because he deserves it. He's done more than an apprenticeship at Leinster, he's worked hard at trying to get into that team and hasn't done so on a continual basis, and now he needs to go and look after Ian Madigan". 

Madigan himself also commented on the move, saying "Bordeaux Bègles 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.

"I'd like to thank everyone in Leinster Rugby for their support over the years. I've played with some brilliant players and have worked with some exceptional coaches".

In closing, he added "finally to the Leinster Rugby supporters, who have been hugely supportive of me in good times and in bad, thank you. There is a huge few weeks and months ahead with Leinster, and I look forward to playing my part and trying to finish the season out as strongly as possible for them".