Luke FitzgerAld on . . .
Published 23/04/2011 | 05:00
FAME: "It's grand. Irish people hang back and are pretty decent. I can assure you my lifestyle, whatever it might be built up to be, is pretty mundane, I spend most of my time chilling out with my housemates.
It's weird when you see yourself mentioned in the gossip pages but it doesn't really bother me. I don't think anyone is really interested in my love life ... are they?"
"I'm not saying this because he's my coach or because I want to get picked but, if I'm being brutally honest, he's the best coach I have come across, by a long shot. Technically, with the forwards as well as the backs, he's a revelation and everyone is allowed to have an input. He earned my total respect at the start of the season when we were struggling and he stayed calm and stuck to his principles."
"I went through a period of four or five years where I didn't drink at all but when I hurt my leg I went out with my buddies a bit, even though I was still only a three or four beers man. I'm off absolutely everything at the moment for Lent but I enjoy myself and have a laugh without drink -- I'm well able to get up and embarrass myself on the dance floor or chat to the lads or maybe one or two girls."
"The place really seems to be buzzing. We have a lot of young lads and older heads to give it a nice mix. The Open Day was unbelievable, with so many kids there. When I first started we were still in Donnybrook, but match nights are pretty special in the RDS and around Ballsbridge these days. The club is really going places."
"I love speaking Irish, mostly with my Dad, and would be fairly fluent but he gave me Peig Sayers to read and I couldn't get through it. Thank God, we didn't have to do it at school like the aul lads did. I was about 10 or 15 pages in going 'Jeez, what's going on here?' ... she didn't seem to do much."
BEST PLAYER HE'S PLAYED WITH
"That's a toss up between Felipe (Contepomi) and Drico (Brian O'Driscoll). Isa (Nacewa) is brilliant but I played with the other two for longer. Jeez, I loved being outside Felipe, I was able to read him and found him great to play off -- he was just magic. Drico is playing fantastic rugby, he's gone through the whole circle, built up and knocked down and he's still playing unbelievable."
"I'm very laissez faire with the politics. To be honest, I find it all a bit disheartening the way everything has gone. I tuned into Vincent Browne a bit but it seemed like some of the 'experts' weren't really sure what they talking about, which is worrying."
"This Irish team is very, very ambitious. The only thing we haven't done is beat New Zealand and I think a lot of teams are struggling to do that. We have some unbelievably talented footballers, we are going over there to win it -- no doubt."