Tuesday 25 October 2016

'You've made a mistake' - Luke Fitzgerald reveals chat with Joe Schmidt during World Cup

Published 05/07/2016 | 20:57

Joe Schmidt and Luke Fitzgerald in conversation
Joe Schmidt and Luke Fitzgerald in conversation

Former Leinster and Ireland star Luke Fitzgerald has revealed details of a conversation he had with Joe Schmidt after the Kiwi omitted him from Ireland's starting XV for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina.

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Fitzgerald was brought on 20 minutes into the game when Argentina led 17-0 and scored a sublime, individual try five minutes later to kickstart a mini-revival that ultimately came up short.

The 28-year-old, who was forced to call time on his playing career last week on medical advice after suffering a neck injury in the Pro12 defeat to Connacht last month, told Off The Ball on Newstalk this evening that he told Schmidt he should have been starting the game when the team was announced.

Read more: The All Blacks coach's recent comments could have a big bearing on Joe Schmidt's Ireland future

"I thought I was playing really good rugby at the world cup and I was really disappointed to not get picked in those teams," he said.

"That was a the real bugbear.

"If you actually just pick me here, I'm going to do something. I'm going to do something special. I actually just said to him that I completely disagree. I think I'm the right man for the job.

"From a defensive point of view and from an attack point of view, I think you're making a mistake and it proved to be right. Without cutting anyone, you can take from that what you will.

I told him after he selected the team for Argentina that I thought it was a mistake. He was sayiig that he obviously didn't think it was a mistake...'Hard luck mate, I make the last call'."

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