O'Connor backs Madigan for Ireland

Date published: March 3 2014

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor believes Ian Madigan could easily step in for Jonathan Sexton if required against Italy on Saturday.

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor insists Ian Madigan could easily step in for Jonathan Sexton if required in the Six Nations Championship.

Madigan was in excellent form for the province in their 28-25 victory over Glasgow on Saturday, scoring thirteen points from the kicking tee.

And with Ireland possibly set to face Italy this weekend without Sexton, who has an injured thumb, head coach Joe Schmidt must decide whether he selects Madigan or Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson as his number ten.

“Mads' performance was very, very good,” O'Connor told RaboDirectPRO12.com.

“His goal-kicking was exceptional. In really tough conditions, he kept us in the game and was ultimately a significant part in us getting the result.

“It's not my call but of course he is [ready]. He's playing really well. He managed tough conditions and field position and, like I said, he's a world-class goal-kicker.

“If Joe (Schmidt) goes down that road and decides to give him that opportunity, I'm sure he'll do a great job.”

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