Friday 21 September 2018

Take 20: 'I'm constantly the butt of Dave Kilcoyne's jokes'

Stephen Fitzgerald Picture: SPORTSFILE
Stephen Fitzgerald Picture: SPORTSFILE

Stephen Fitzgerald

1. Pre-match meal? Salmon and potatoes. I don't want to eat too much before I play because there's nothing worse than carrying that around on the pitch.

2. Favourite player growing up?

I always liked watching Israel Dagg. He plays in a similar position and I loved the way he played. I would have always studied that.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

The few times I went away I always roomed with Andrew Conway. He looked after me because I was one of the young fellas in the squad.

4. Who would headline your houseparty?

David Guetta.

5. First song they would play?

He might start off with something like Titanium.

6. You win the Lotto, first thing you would buy?

I would buy a Mercedes 4x4.

7. Favourite movie?

Growing up I always loved Happy Gilmore. I enjoy golf but I take the first three or four holes seriously and then start messing around.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

Friends. My girlfriend won't be too happy, but I had a bit of a crush on Jennifer Aniston.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

When I went on a tour over to Ealing with Shannon. It was just a lot of my best friends and I had a really good time.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Dave Kilcoyne. I'm constantly the butt of his jokes. He's always doing Instagram posts and Snapchats of me, calling me 'Turnip'.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

I recently went over to Australia, which was meant to be playing rugby for three months but I lasted three weeks because I broke my thumb. Any chance I get I am going to go there because of the weather and the beaches.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

I have only played at Scarlets and Ospreys. Ospreys because the pitch is so nice.

13. Three people (dead or alive) who you would invite to your dinner party?

Jennifer Aniston, of course. Kevin Hart, I just finished reading his book, he would bring an awful lot of entertainment. And Barack Obama because he's very interesting.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

In my last year in school I was captain of Ardscoil Rís. We beat Munchin's in the senior cup semi-final. The atmosphere was unreal and beating our rivals was great.

15. Do you have any pre-match superstitions/rituals?

When I was younger I would have had the standard ones like wearing the same jocks. Now I just try to relax.

16. Who is the best player you have played alongside and why?

Playing with Conor Oliver, I just love how physical he is, and he would always leave everything out on the park. There's no bulls**t. He just gives everything for you and he is one of the players you definitely prefer playing with rather than against.

17. Who is the best player you have played against and why?

At Scarlets I played against Liam Williams. He has gone on to do great things now, but even back then you could just tell that he was going to be a big-time player.

18. Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

My nickname in Munster is 'Turnip' because everyone says that my head is shaped like a turnip. I wasn't too fond of that when it first came about. But the more they call you it the more they love you, so that's fine now.

19. Name three things that are always in your fridge?

Prawns because it's my favourite meal. My mum always brings home these rhubarb crumble yoghurts that I like to have as a treat. Sparking water too.

20. Best advice you ever got?

Johnny Holland had to retire and he told me, even on the terrible days when you have training and the last thing you want to do is train, he would give anything to be able to have that opportunity to be with the lads in training and be enjoying rugby again. Ever since he said that I have enjoyed my game that bit more.

Irish Independent

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