Friday 26 December 2014

Rugby star Luke Fitzgerald finally goes public with girlfriend Cheryl... who's a ringer for ex Nadia Forde

Published 05/05/2014 | 07:44

Guests arrive at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball 2014 at The Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland - 03.05.14. Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM *** Local Caption *** Luke Fitzgerald & guest
Luke Fitzgerald and his girlfriend Cheryl O'Rourke arrive at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Luke Fitzgerald and his girlfriend Cheryl O'Rourke arrive at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM

Rugby star Luke Fitzgerald went public with his romance over the weekend.

The Ireland winger set tongues wagging after turning up to the Leinster Ball on Saturday night with  a new lady.

And onlookers couldn’t help remarking on the uncanny similarity the young lady in question bore to his former girlfriend Nadia Forde – who attended the same event with him in 2012.

In fact, the Diary can reveal that his other half is Ballymun-born model and club dancer Cheryl O’Rourke, whom he has been dating for the past year.

Clearly Luke has a certain type, given that the Diva Next Door winner has the same brown eyes, sallow skin and curvy figure as his ex-girlfriend.

Wearing a full-length citrus coloured evening gown with a revealing plunging neckline, the 5ft 3in beauty looked tiny in comparison to her strapping partner as they were snapped outside the Mansion House.

While his sporting career might not be going to plan right now, given the Leinster winger was once again withdrawn from the squad last minute, his personal life is certainly going well.

He has been plagued with problem groin muscles since last January, forcing him to miss the Six Nations as he tried to recover.

Guests arrive at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball 2014 at The Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland - 03.05.14. Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM *** Local Caption *** Holly Carpenter, Cian Healy
Holly Carpenter, Cian Healy
Luke Fitzgerald and girlfriend Cheryl O'Rourke
Mary Scott, Devin Toner
Gordon D'Arcy
Holly Carpenter
Leo Cullen, Dairine Kennedy
Eoin Reddan, Aoife Reddan
3 May 2014; Rosanne Phelan, from Ballacolla, Co. Laois, left, Elma Beirne, from Naas, Co. Kildare, and Carrie Atkinson, from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, right, in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Leinster's Jordi Murphy and Laura Finnegan in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Leinster's Martin Moore and Lona O'Connor in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Sinead and Eimear Coffey of Leinster Rugby in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Leinster's Noel Reid and Ian Madigan in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014;Leinster branch President Paul Deering and his wife Joyce in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Sean Ahearne and Collie Joyce Ahearn from Wexford CBS in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Professor Arthur Tanner and his wife Ann in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Jim Dowling, Aoife Dowling, Cepta Dowling, Caroline Chambers and Darragh Dowling, from Suttonians Rugby Club in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Darragh McGinley and Nicola Long in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2014; Leinster's Brendan Macken and Charlotte Cunningham in attendance at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Cheering him up no doubt has been Cheryl, whom he was first linked with last summer but has yet to publicly confirm the romance.

A source said; “The rugby guys usually like to keep their cards close to their chests when it comes to new girlfriends and relationships.

“So the fact that he brought her as his date to the event shows that they are clearly moving things up a notch.

“Things are obviously going well between them.”

This is the first time that the sports star has been linked with a lady since breaking up with top model Nadia Forde.

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Luke's former love Nadia Forde. Picture Tony Gavin

The pair dated for over a year, with the model-turned-singer a constant support for him during his injury woes and a regular attendee at his matches.

They parted ways in May 2012 after deciding it wasn’t working but neither of them have spoken at length about their relationship.

Nadia recently flew to LA to try and make it as a popstar and was filmed in her adventures for a TV3 documentary.

(The Herald)

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