Saturday 18 November 2017

'I always flirted with them': Luke Fitzgerald on how he almost ended up playing for Munster - twice

27 December 2015; Luke Fitzgerald, Leinster, is tackled by John Ryan, Munster. Guinness PRO12, Round 10, Munster v Leinster. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images)
27 December 2015; Luke Fitzgerald, Leinster, is tackled by John Ryan, Munster. Guinness PRO12, Round 10, Munster v Leinster. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images)
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

He enjoyed a distinguished career in blue but Luke Fitzgerald came very close to wearing Munster red on two occasions during his rugby career.

The Grand Slam-winning back had the pick of the provinces when he emerged from school as one of the brightest prospects Irish rugby had ever seen, ultimately deciding to play his rugby under Michael Cheika at Leinster.

Read more: The Left Wing: Leinster's defensive worries and why in-form Donnacha Ryan should leave Ireland at 35, not 33

On this week's episode of The Left Wing, Fitzgerald explains how he had the opportunity to move south years later too, when he met then Munster coach Rod Penney for a chat about his future. Fitzgerald thought strongly about a change of scenery as he felt a bit taken for granted at Leinster, but ultimately decided to stay put.

"I met Rob Penney, he was a really good guy but he ended up leaving a few months later so I was glad I didn't go down," Fitzgerald said.

"I never really had that hatred for Munster, I lived down there myself. For me, it wasn't a bargaining tool, I looked at where both clubs were at and I felt I had been mistreated at the time.

"I was pretty close to going there when I came out of school, I always flirted with them. I chose Dublin in the end because there were a lot guys like Brian O'Driscoll and Denis Hickie who were great for me when I was starting out. Munster were the real powerhouse then so it was hard to turn them down."

Watch the full episode of The Left Wing, where Fitzgerald breaks down this weekend's Champions Cup quarter-finals, below:

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport