Friday 16 November 2018

'There was a pizza on the ceiling!' - Luke Fitzgerald tells brilliant story of rooming with Welsh star on Lions tour

23 June 2009; Luke Fitzgerald, British and Irish Lions, breaks towards Zane Kirchner, Emerging Springboks. Emerging Springboks v British and Irish Lions, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa. Picture credit: Andrew Fosker / SPORTSFILE
23 June 2009; Luke Fitzgerald, British and Irish Lions, breaks towards Zane Kirchner, Emerging Springboks. Emerging Springboks v British and Irish Lions, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa. Picture credit: Andrew Fosker / SPORTSFILE

Lions tours are famous for bringing together players from different cultures and Luke Fitzgerald shared a very interesting experience with ex-Welsh back row Andy Powell during the 2009 trip to South Africa.

Fitzgerald was just 21 at the time and off the back of a sensational season that saw him play a part in Ireland's Grand Slam win as well as Leinster's first Heineken Cup triumph.

Ahead of the final midweek game before the second test, which Fitzgerald was picked to start in with a view to playing his way into the test side, he got a bit of a rude awakening from Powell, who was out of contention for the crucial clash against the Springboks.

Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, Fitzgerald described the hilarious scene in the hotel room he was sharing with Powell after the Wales star returned from a night on the town before the crucial game.

"I actually stayed in touch with Powelly [Andy Powell] afterwards and he is such a nice bloke," Fitzgerald began.

"Great fun. He was the life and soul of the party. He was a great part of the tour even though he didn't play in the tests.

"I had a big match ahead of the tests and I get woken up at about 4am. He knew he was out of the running. Lights go on, I ask him to turn off the lights because I was trying to sleep.

"In the morning I look up and there was a pizza on the ceiling. There was a pizza on the ceiling! I turn over and this was a period where some of the Welsh guys had been doing the fake tan stuff. This guy is huge, he is an unbelievable athlete. I turn over and there was his big, bare orange arse!

"I see the pizza and the big arse and I go into the toilet to brush my teeth. I take a step out of bed and I crunch down on crisps. They led all the way from the toilet to the side of my bed.

"He is one of those guys who you couldn't be mad at but I just said 'listen Powelly, I'm going to ask if I can move, we are on different schedules'."

Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast in association with Laya Healthcare, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

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