Ian Madigan has opened up about the 'stinging' way he was notified he would be leaving Bristol Bears, ahead of joining Ulster this summer.
Madigan joined Monday Night Rugby to discuss his impending move and why, while he still respects Bristol coach Pat Lam, he feels the news of his sidelining could have been different.
"Pat is a fantastic coach and what he did in Connacht was an incredible achievement," said Madigan.
"He has come over to Bristol and what he has built over the last two and a half seasons is incredible - from a team that couldn't get any sort of consistency going to a team that is sitting third in the league.
"It was really tough. I won't ever forget the first game of the season when I wasn't picked in the 23. I would have hoped to have been starting the game; from going from that to not being in the 23 was tough going."
As to the news of Madigan not featuring in the first match of Bristol's season, Madigan believes that it could have been dealt with better.
"It probably wasn't broken to me in the best way, but we won't get into that," said Madigan before confirming that it was announced in front of a group of his team-mates.
"But that is professsional sport. No matter how you find that out, whether it is one-on-one, in a meeting or in a larger group - it was not going to be a particularly enjoyable process.
"It did sting a bit."
When a player no longer finds himself in the 23, it can often dishearten them. Or they can look for the positives.
"Getting picked in the 23 gives you a focus for your week. When you are not involved in that, you need to find other areas to motivate yourself. That is something that I have tried to do.
"One of the positives from not playing is that I have been able to condition myself and iron out any previous injuries I have had and I currently feel like I am in the best shape of my life.
"You just reassure yourself that what one team needs at a given time, is different to what another team needs at a given time. You have to continue to work hard and believe that the chances are going to come."
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