Ian Madigan's upcoming move to French side Bordeaux is something that has once again raised questions over the IRFU in terms of the effort made to keep young Irish talent in Ireland, but the deal is done and the former Blackrock College man knows that in leaving for France he is risking his place in the Ireland squad.
Madigan revealed while talking to the Irish Independent that had an Irish team come in for him at an earlier stage, then he would have possibly been able to stay, but his discussions with Bordeaux were too far advanced when any interest was made aware to him.
The Leinster man admitted that despite the great history of Munster, he wasn't sure whether or not he would have been able to tog out in the red jersey:
Munster are going through a small slump at the moment but to play for a club like that, with the history they have, would be incredible.
But would I be able to do it? I've grown up in Leinster, all my family support Leinster, all my friends support Leinster; it would be really tough. The parishonal sense that you have in playing for Leinster or playing for Munster is a pretty special thing in Ireland.
But the idea of playing in the current Connacht team was something that was, understandably, very attractive:
While it's important that some players are going to have to move to get game-time, it's something that we want to protect. Similarly, when you see the quality brand of rugby that Connacht are playing I'd say to myself, 'Jesus, it'd be brilliant to be part of that side'.
He's not wrong.
Connacht have played some sensational rugby under Pat Lam this term, and are level with Leinster at the top of the Pro 12 after 12 matches.
Whether or not a move for Madigan to join Connacht would have been feasible at all is another question, but it's good to see Connacht receiving high praise from their provincial rivals, even if it's from someone who won't be a provincial rival for too long.