The third round of the Six Nations is on the horizon as Ireland continue to gear up for a trip to Rome and Joe Schmidt prepares for a welcomed opportunity to rotate his starting team.
As far as former Irish rugby player Luke Fitzgerald is concerned, Schmidt should avail of this opportunity for mass changes and some significant shifts in selection policy. Speaking on Eir Sport, the former Leinster man suggested that both Ian Madigan and Simon Zebo should be selected for the next game.
"The two that are going to cause a bit of consternation, Ian Madigan. I brought him in from the cold. I just think he is playing good rugby over at Bristol at the moment and I think he is still probably our second best ten even though I thought Joey Carbery went well last week."
He went on to cite former Munster man Simon Zebo as someone who "Ireland are really missing."
"Simon Zebo, full-back. I think he would be starting for Ireland there on a serious note. It is a difficult one but there is a precedent there with Johnny Sexton. Ireland look like they need another play-maker outside."
"I think we need to freshen up a little bit, without going crazy.
"Well, I did go a bit crazy!"
Bernard Jackman and Luke Fitzgerald discuss Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt's options ahead of next Sunday's #SixNations2019 game against Italy in Rome.
FT: Zebre 24-40 Leinster. pic.twitter.com/DMhZt8wyxo
— eir Sport (@eirSport) February 16, 2019
Both Madigan, currently plying his trade with Pat Lam's Bristol, and Zebo, who is at Racing, have shown promising form for their respective sides but Ireland do have an unofficial policy of not selecting players based abroad.