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Luke Fitzgerald Had A Disagreement With Joe Schmidt At The World Cup

Luke Fitzgerald Had A Disagreement With Joe Schmidt At The World Cup
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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The Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to Argentina was the last of Luke Fitzgerald's 34 caps for Ireland.

The Leinster back - who announced his retirement last week - did not start that game. He came on as a 12th minute substitute for the injured Tommy Bowe. Less than a quarter of an hour on the pitch, Fitzgerald broke through despairing Puma tackles to get Ireland back in the game after the early - and shock - Argentina onslaught which saw Ireland concede two tries in the opening 10 minutes.


That the 28-year-old did not start the game was not down to a lack of confidence on his behalf. He had started the opening game of the tournament against Canada at inside centre. In the remaining group games he would get a total of just 24 minutes on the pitch. Still, he felt in excellent form.

Fitzgerald spoke about the World Cup on Tuesday evening's Off The Ball.

Actually I thought I was playing really good rugby in the World Cup and I was really, really disappointed to not get picked in those teams. That was a real bug-bear because I was playing really well.

But the Argentina game, I knew I was playing well and I'd got five minutes here and there. I was thinking 'if you actually just pick me here, I'm going to do something special here'.

Such was his belief in himself, Fitzgerald went to Joe Schmidt and told the Ireland head coach that a mistake was being made by not starting him against Argentina.


I just said 'I disagree, I think I'm the right man for the job. From a defensive point of view and from an attack point of view, I think you're making a mistake' and it proved to be right. Without cutting anyone, you can take from that what you will.

I told him after he selected the team for Argentina that I thought it was a mistake. He was saying that he obviously didn't think it was a mistake. 'Hard luck mate, I make the last call' [said Schmidt].

Read: Luke Fitzgerald's Retirement Announcement Did Not Go 100% To Plan

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