There are few more intimidating shirts to fill in European rugby than the Leinster No.10 jersey but the latest of our RaboDirect Rising Stars, Ian Madigan, has taken to it with aplomb.
With Jonathan Sexton limited to just three starts in the RaboDirect PRO12 with his Ireland commitments so far this season, Madigan has ensured Leinster have not missed a beat.
His strike rate of seven tries in 13 RaboDirect PRO12 games would have been impressive for a winger let alone a fly-half and he played a key role in the European champions’ 20-match unbeaten sequence.
Even though that run came to an end against the Ospreys, Madigan isn’t short of confidence – targeting silverware on two fronts this season.
Away from the rugby field the former Blackrock College pupil is a handy golfer and here we delve into what makes Madigan tick.
My Honda Civic is my most expensive ever purchase. I bought it about two years ago for about £10,000. It’s an automatic so it keeps me happy.
I’ve always loved sport and if I wasn’t playing rugby professionally I would have loved to have been a golfer. I have a nine handicap so maybe if I look after my body I could take that up when I retire.
My worst feat on a rugby field is throwing an intercept pass. It’s happened to me a few times as a fly-half and I have nightmares about it still.
If I was to pick out my favourite kit then I would plump for Stade Francais’ pink number. It’s pretty cool and different – anything that has the Virgin Mary on the front is good in my book.
On my day-off I generally hang out with Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald. We have taken to a new crazy golf place in Dublin. We play for forfeits, like training in the gym topless and Luke’s had the yips recently!
My first ever autograph was former Ireland footballer Roy Keaneafter a testimonial match at Lansdowne Road. I’m not really into football though.
If I could make one change to rugby it would be to simply to have more backs and less forwards. That would suit me and my game down to the ground.
My ambitions for 2012 are to keep improving my game with every match and winning another Heineken Cup and RaboDirect PRO12.
The funniest thing I have seen on a rugby field happened earlier this season in the RaboDirect PRO12. We were playing Connacht earlier this season and the referee wasn’t out, we decided to just start the game anyway. Luckily he saw the funny side when he came out. I think he was on the toilet.
My school motto was Fides et Robur and that’s what I try to live by. It means strength and honour, and it has been with me since I was a child.