Sunday 19 November 2017

The Left Wing: 'Stuart Lancaster is an ideal candidate to replace Joe Schmidt in 2019' - Luke Fitzgerald

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Luke Fitzgerald has a weird feeling Munster and Leinster will be contesting the Champions Cup final in Murrayfield this May.

Every week, The Left Wing  features the former Leinster and Ireland man's unique blend of analysis and opinion as he takes you inside the game to give an honest and informed assessment of the performance of the Ireland team and the four provinces.

Joey Carbery is the man of the moment for Leo Cullen's men after his scintillating display on Saturday and his performance has led to calls for Warren Gatland to include him in his Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand.

Fitzgerald, however, believes that the Athy star needs to put on weight but does see Carbery, Dan Leavy, Garry Ringrose as Lions players the next time around.

Fitzgerald pointed out the fact that all of Leinster's tries came from open play and credited Leinster's improvement in this area to Stuart Lancaster.

He believes the former England head coach has put himself forward as a possible replacement for Joe Schmidt after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"I think he would be an ideal candidate for the Ireland job," he said.

"The gameplan he is trying to impose and the skill set of the Irish players could be an exciting mix."

Fitzgerald also illustrated Peter O'Mahony's role in CJ Stander's try against Toulouse on Saturday.

Asked what province he thought has the best chance of advancing to the decider, Fitzgerald opted for Rassie Erasmus' side but he has a 'weird feeling' we could be about to witness a Leinster-Munster European final.

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