Bristol Rugby have secured a marquee signing with the capture of Ireland fly-half Ian Madigan.
The 27-year-old has swapped Bordeaux Begles for a three-year deal at Ashton Gate in what is a big statement of intent from the English side.
“The opportunity to come to England and prove myself here is one that I relish,” Madigan said.
“Bristol Rugby has a clear vision for what they want to achieve and the club’s philosophy match my own ambitions.
“I know the expansive style of rugby that Pat [Lam] and his coaching team want to play and that excites me. I was so impressed with the vision that was laid out to me, it made it an easy decision to commit to Bristol.
“The culture that the club are building, coupled with a city that loves its rugby, is something that really appeals to me. I’m looking forward to representing Bristol in front of the passionate supporters at Ashton Gate.”
Madigan made over 140 appearances for Leinster, helping his hometown club to a Heineken Cup title and domestic honours before switching to Bordeaux.
He will return to the United Kingdom for the start of next season and will be a key man for Bristol in charge of orchestrating their back line under new coach Lam.
“Ian is a player we have been looking at for a while,” said current Bristol head coach Mark Tainton.
“It’s been no secret that we were seeking a world-class fly-half and – with his age profile and experience – Ian fits the bill perfectly.
“He has bought into what we are trying to achieve here. Ian has chosen to commit for three years and we’re delighted to have secured his services with a number of high-profile clubs interested.
“With his distribution and goal kicking skills, Ian will be a fantastic asset to us in the fly-half position.”
While Madigan is heading to Bristol, the club have also retained the services of young fly-half Callum Sheedy who has spent part of this season on loan with Jersey.