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Fitzgerald can make his redemption shot count

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Ireland's Simon Zebo during squad training (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)

Ireland's Simon Zebo during squad training (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)

Simon Zebo

Simon Zebo

SPORTSFILE

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Ireland's Simon Zebo during squad training (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)

For all the natural sympathy flowing towards Simon Zebo (right), only a heart of stone could begrudge Luke Fitzgerald his inclusion for today's game at Murrayfield.

Fitzgerald's professional career has been so relentlessly sabotaged by injury, you forget the electricity his name carried when Eddie O'Sullivan made him the youngest Irish senior cap in almost 30 years.

That same day in '06, Jamie Heaslip was also introduced to international rugby against the Pacific Islands, just before the wrecking balls were unleashed on Lansdowne Road's crumbling, ivy-clad shell.

Since then, Heaslip has made almost three times as many Irish appearances as Fitzgerald for whom the struggle simply to play unimpeded rugby led, in his own words, to contemplation of a different career path.

At his best, he has the footwork and explosiveness to bring another dimension to Ireland's back-play. In a World Cup year, today could be his grand audition.

Indo Sport