Fitzgerald was close to retiring

Date published: March 20 2015

Luke Fitzgerald admits he considered retirement last year before working his way back into the Ireland team this weekend.

The Leinster winger will start in place of Simon Zebo at Murrayfield as Ireland try to make it back-to-back Six Nations titles, his first appearance for the Men in Green since 2013.

During that time he has struggled with hip, adductor and groin injuries but he has fought his way back with Leinster and will now make his international return against the Scots.

And while Fitzgerald is delighted to get his chance, he explained that it has taken a lot of hard work to keep his Irish dream alive.

"It's any guy's dream to be involved in the starting fifteen and I'm lucky enough to pull on the green jersey this weekend. I say lucky, but I probably don't believe that. I've worked really hard to get back in this position and I feel all that hard work is vindicated," he said.

"It's hard when you feel like you're a million miles away and you're close to retiring because you just can't figure out injuries. I find it really hard to say 'it's lucky' to be in. I'm blessed to be in the position, but I've worked really hard and I'm delighted to get the opportunity.

"I was pretty close (to giving up), with some major injuries. I didn't really see a way back and I couldn't figure out what the problem was. It was funny given all the major structural ones I have had, that it was a soft tissue injury that I was close to calling it a day on. I couldn't figue it out.

"What was really causing the issue was an underlying structural issue in terms of how I was moving and not knowing that. And when something becomes a recurring problem, when you don't know the actual underlying issue, it was really frustrating.

"In around about September last year we decided to go to the ACL clinic out in Santry and got unbelievable results out there pretty quickly and that really turned things around for me going forward and managing an injury like this."