Jack Carty welcomes Ian Madigan's return to Irish rugby

Jack Carty has made 10 appearances for Ireland
Connacht and Ireland fly-half Carty was talking at an event held to encourage people to be mindful of their mental health

Ireland fly-half Jack Carty says he does not regard Ian Madigan's return to Irish rugby as a threat.

The 30-times capped former Leinster player is joining Ulster from Bristol Bears on a one-year contract at the start of the 2020-21 season.

Madigan played his last Ireland game in 2016 prior to joining Bordeaux Begles.

"You could see it as a threat initially but the more high quality players you have in your position the better it is for you," Carty said.

Connacht player Carty made his Ireland debut in Rome last year against Italy in the Six Nations and established himself in 2019 playing in three games at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Ian Madigan in action in his last Ireland game in 2016
The last of Ian Madigan's 30 Ireland caps came against South Africa in June 2016

Omitted from Farrell's Six Nations squad

However, he was omitted from new head coach Andy Farrell's Six Nations squad with Ulster's Billy Burns receiving his first call-up, and the return of Madigan could potentially make Carty's task of getting back in even harder.

"Obviously he's been away for a couple of years, but Ian is really a top fella and I'm delighted he's coming back," insisted 10-times capped Carty.

"I think he might have been trying to get back for a while so it's great to have him back in Irish rugby.

"It will provide Billy [Burns] with a load of competition up north and then it will provide all the other 10s in Ireland with additional competition, which is want you want."

Carty suffered social media abuse

Carty, who is a Tackle Your Feelings ambassador, has encouraged people who may feel isolated at home during the coronavirus pandemic to reach out and engage with a support network.

He admitted he struggled with social media trolls earlier in his career but now has the mental resolve to deal with those challenges.

"In the younger part of my career I looked for validation not from coaches or players but maybe from people online," he said.

"I didn't have the tools or ability to deal with negativity with social media.

"I probably let the positive parts get over-amplified in certain circumstances as well and I let it dictate how I felt for three or four days. Now I reach out to my support network, to family and friends.

"People are cooped up in the house now so external from rugby I have been doing things like reaching out to family, Skyping, video calls.

"Just because you're away from someone doesn't mean you can't talk to them."