Sunday 22 April 2018

Fitzgerald admits poor form hurting World Cup prospects

Luke Fitzgerald. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile
Luke Fitzgerald. Photo: Barry Cregg / Sportsfile

Hugh Farrelly

Luke Fitzgerald says he is worried about holding onto his Leinster place and making the Ireland squad for September's World Cup due to his poor form this season.

The 23-year-old Lions star was dropped for Ireland's final Six Nations match against England after a run of uncertain displays at full-back and is now desperate to rediscover his best form to aid Leinster's twin assault on the Heineken Cup and Magners League and then contribute to Ireland's World Cup 2011 campaign.

"I worry all the time," admitted Fitzgerald. "I'm playing this game long enough at a high level for people to know what I am capable of, but everyone, all the Leinster fans, all the Irish fans, knows I am not playing to my potential.

"I am just as aware, if not more aware, that things haven't been going my way. I don't say it to everyone but I am saying it now ... I am not playing well.

"I wasn't playing to form before the Six Nations, there was a lot of people injured so I was lucky enough to get in. I had a shocker against Saracens in January and a little bit better against Racing (Metro), but I was not in form and was not really fit either after the injury," he added.

"People will say, 'Oh he's making excuses' but I have had a lot of injuries and they can really kill your momentum. I'm not out to be adored, I just want respect from my fellow players and if I am playing well it should all come anyway.

"I look at Rory McIlroy after the last day at the US Masters when he did not do himself justice and he was so honest when he must have been absolutely gutted. People appreciate that.

"I try not to play media games or add fuel to the fire, I believe in what I am saying now and I wouldn't say it otherwise. Getting my form back is all I am concerned with. I want to get this off my chest and now, hopefully, let the rugby do the talking."

Irish Independent

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