Ian Madigan to join Bristol Rugby on a three-year deal
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 06/03/17 10:04am
Bristol Rugby have announced Ireland international fly-half Ian Madigan will join the club next season on a three-year deal.
The 27-year-old will arrive from Bordeaux Begles and is looking forward to working with incoming Bristol head coach Pat Lam next season.
Madigan said: "The opportunity to come to England and prove myself here is one that I relish. Bristol Rugby has a clear vision for what they want to achieve and the club's philosophy matches my own ambitions.
"I know the expansive style of rugby that Pat [Lam] and his coaching team want to play and that excites me. I was so impressed with the vision that was laid out to me, it made it an easy decision to commit to Bristol.
"The culture that the club are building, coupled with a city that loves its rugby, is something that really appeals to me.
"I'm looking forward to representing Bristol in front of the passionate supporters at Ashton Gate."
Madigan moved to France last summer in search of more regular playing time after growing frustrated behind Johnny Sexton at Leinster but he lost his starting role in October to New Zealander Simon Hickey.
Madigan, who has 31 caps for Ireland, was Sexton's primary back-up at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and started their quarter-final loss to Argentina.
But he has fallen well down the pecking order since leaving Leinster with Paddy Jackson, Joey Carberry and Ian Keatley all moving ahead of him in the queue.
Although he signed a two-year deal with Bordeaux, the French side agreed to release him after one season so he could pursue opportunities to start elsewhere.
"Ian is a player we have been looking at for a while. It's been no secret that we were seeking a world-class fly half and - with his age profile and experience - Ian fits the bill perfectly," acting head coach Mark Tainton told bristolrugby.co.uk.
"He has bought into what we are trying to achieve here. Ian has chosen to commit for three years and we're delighted to have secured his services with a number of high-profile clubs interested in him.
"With his distribution and goal kicking skills, Ian will be a fantastic asset to us in the fly-half position."