Search icon


17th Oct 2015

Jamie Heaslip admits Ian Madigan has the edge on Johnny Sexton in one key area

Gazza's back in from the start

Kevin McGillicuddy

Jamie Heaslip will get a chance to lead Ireland in tomorrow’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Argentina and the Kildare native is feeling relaxed ahead of the game.

The Leinster man saw several of his team-mates stretchered off in last week’s heroic win over France but has revealed that a few of the walking wounded are sneaking back into the Ireland camp for tomorrow’s Cardiff showdown.

Peter O’Mahony went back to Munster earlier this week after his leg injury while Paul O’Connell is recovering from his hamstring tear but both men will be around the squad ahead of tomorrow’s 1pm clash in the Millennium Stadium

“Johnny’s still there, Paul’s still up there… Pete’s actually gatecrashing for the weekend. It’s great to see the guys up there and adding their presence around.

“Paul’s making his presence known around the place. He literally only disappeared for the day and then he’s straight back into us. He’s getting around and everybody’s helping him out. He’s almost being carried around like a king with the lads serving him lunch and dinner and everything.”

Ireland’s side for tomorrow’s match had one key late enforced change with Ian Madigan now starting instead of Johnny Sexton with the former Racing Metro man ruled out due to an injury picked up in last week’s win over France.

Madigan was almost perfect from the kicking tee last week when introduced as Sexton’s replacement but Heaslip admits that there is one key difference between the two men.

“I know Johnny’s gutted, but he’s been helping Mads a lot over the last 24 hours.

“They’re very similar, yet very different. Johnny will probably kill me, but Ian is probably a bit faster off the mark in terms of acceleration.

“Ian’s got some pretty exceptional feet, both good organisers of the backline and the way the team gets directed around. He’s a confident guy, both are, and both can be quite demanding on the training park and on the field.”

Johnny Sexton is known as being cranky at the best of times so we think he may have a few thoughts about this.

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?