Sunday 24 September 2017

Fitzgerald crowns U-20 start with try

13 February 2015; Ireland's Steven Fitzgerald dives in to score his side's second try of the game. U20's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v France, Dubarry Park, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
13 February 2015; Ireland's Steven Fitzgerald dives in to score his side's second try of the game. U20's Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v France, Dubarry Park, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Daragh Small

Shannon's Stephen Fitzgerald announced his arrival on the international stage by scoring a superb try in Ireland's impressive win over France at the weekend.

The 19-year-old plays full-back for his club but was on the wing in a win that, coupled with the opening-day success away to Italy, sets up Ireland for a potential tournament decider against England next Friday as they go in search of their first U-20 Six Nations title since 2010.

Ireland top the standings on four points with England in second - they lost out 21-15 away to Wales on the opening weekend and will need a win next Friday to stay in contention.

Ireland ran in seven tries in a 47-15 win over Italy and followed that up with an eye-catching 37-20 demolition of a strong French outfit in Dubarry Park and they are now in pole position to win only their second ever U-20 Six Nations crowns.

The French game was Fitzgerald's first for the Ireland U-20s - an injury to Munster colleague Greg O'Shea paved the way for his debut and he crowned it with a try.

"It was a nice try. I just picked up an inside line off Sam Arnold and he just left it there. Thankfully I got around the full-back," he said.

"It's a huge match against England, obviously that's the one everyone really looks forward too.

"We only had training on Tuesday but next week when we go back everyone will be buzzing for it and looking forward to it."

Ireland's clash with England will be at Donnybrook rather than their usual home at Dubarry Park in Athlone.

Irish Independent

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