Ian Madigan was well aware what he was giving up when he moved to play his club rugby in France in 2016. Joe Schmidt has made it clear that players playing their club rugby outside this island will not be considered for international selection. While an exception was made for Johnny Sexton, the policy has otherwise be stuck to adherently.
Now at Bristol in the English Premiership, Madigan was a part of the Ireland squad for the 2015 World Cup, playing the majority of the vital pool win over France and starting the disastrous quarter final loss to Argentina. The last of his Ireland caps came in 2016, and with the current crop of young Irish fly halves, the 29-year old is unlikely to make further appearances anytime soon.
Despite this, Madigan still holds hope of making Ireland's World Cup squad later this year. Speaking to the Irish Independent's 'The Left Wing' podcast, he made it clear that appearing at the tournament in Japan was still a goal of his:
I'm just looking to put together some good performances for Bristol and see where that takes me but if I can be of help to Ireland coming into a World Cup, then great. I need to be putting in some really good performances for that to happen but if I can be another option for Joe Schmidt and Ireland, that would be great.
I think any Irish player, whether you are playing in Ireland or outside like Simon Zebo, you are still going to have hopes and ambitions to represent Ireland at a World Cup. It's still one of my goals, it's something that drives me on when I'm training.
I know it is going to be tough, but all I can do is to play to the best of my ability and put my hand up to be available for selection. If Joe feels like he needs me, he knows he can pick up the phone. He has coached me long enough, he knows what he will get out of me as a player.
While you would have to admire Madigan's drive and ambition, a call up is incredibly unlikely. It would likely take an injury crisis of massive proportions for the player to be considered. Simon Zebo finds himself in a similar situation, and both players could have been key players heading into the tournament in different circumstances.