Ian Madigan On The Huge Differences Between Playing In Ireland & In France


Ian Madigan made the decision at the end of last season that he was done with being Johnny Sexton’s understudy and took up an offer in France.

The former Leinster playmaker was linked with a move to Munster but instead choose to sign up with Top 14 side Bordeaux-Begles on a two-year deal reportedly worth somewhere in the region of €500,000 a year.

The Irishman has apparently settled into life quickly in the Top 14 but notes there are some major differences in playing in France in comparison to Ireland.


There are parts of it when you look at it and say they are not as professional as what I was used to back at home.

Like lifting weights would be a good example of that. They look at a player who has come in from England or Ireland lifting big weights – they don’t look at you and go I want to get to that level myself. They just look at you and go: good for you but that’s not really how we do things here.

“They are very professional in other areas. I think they are ahead of us over here with recovery than we are back home. They do cryotherapy two, three times a week. Everyone does the ice baths after training.

Obligatory stretching six, seven times a week. Off the back of it there is probably less muscle tears over here. I don’t know if that’s down to genetics but they would be more focused on that.

“They are churning out naturally much bigger people. We’ve got to make up for it by being particularly strong. We have done a great job turning that around in the last ten years. We have probably passed them out in strength but that doesn’t always transfer across in games.”

Madigan was speaking to the Irish Times, you can read the full interview here.

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