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@Bones7 i'm a massive fan of Fitzy (obviously, because he plays for Leinster), and he's one of the most talented wingers we have produced in the last 10 years - at his best, he ranks right up there with Shaggy and Denny Hicks. however, it seems to me that Luke has been trying to drive a hard bargain throughout these negotiations with, admittedly, insufficient bargaining power behind him - in other words, by virtue of an injury-ravaged two years and the related dip in his form whenever fitness was regained, he was never in a strong position to play hardball with the IRFU
contrast this with the contract negotiations 18 months ago between the IRFU and Sexyboy, who briefly (but effectively) floated the possibility in the media of a move to france. the IRFU acquiesced to his demands quicker than a rat up a drainpipe. why was Sexto able to do this? because he has been hands down the best fly-half in the NH for the past 3 years and the IRFU could not afford to lose him. that's called bargaining power. and Luke does not have a tenth of that at the moment
Fitzy's tactics have backfired on him totally. i would normally put this down to an overzealous agent but i have heard from friends of friends of his that Luke the Lion is, in general, a bit of an arse. perhaps it's his own arrogance and detachment from reality that has got him into this mess. it's a shame really, because he's a fantastic player. but unless he's realistic about his future prospects then the exit door is the only option, though it pains me to contemplate that
p.s. a bit harsh on Roux and Goodman. i've heard from a few western province fans that Roux has great promise. and Goodman might not be a household name but all we want is a reliable squad player to fill in at center/full-back on rainy pro12 nights during international tests. its very doubtful that these guys will be first-teamers
Posted 14:11 17th July 2012
@leinster_goy, what do you make of the Fitzgerald situation? I'm not entirely convinced it's a great move by either party but he's definitely a much better signing than that pair of nobodies who have been signed! You'd think for squad players there would be a few Irish qualified boys knocking around somewhere in the British Isles if not in Ireland itself. Not having Fitzgerald in the Irish setup at all is baffling considering how woeful Keith Earls is, I can't believe he was touted as the next Brian O'Driscoll! Does anyone know whether he took the pay cut he was said to have been offered originally?
Posted 00:57 17th July 2012
even if Goodman is only itm level, it's still a good signing. all we need is a utility player to cover across the backline due to injuries to Fitzy, Mallers, Kearns the Younger, as well as the inevitable international absences and "player welfare" BS. i don't see how this would impact negatively on Madders - he is now established as Sexyboy's understudy at 10 and i can't see Goodman dislodging him there, particularly as he's only on a one-year deal
on the whole, this is shrewd business by Schmidty. we already have the best squad in the NH so i don't think any other additions are necessary
Posted 10:56 13th July 2012
I meant of course 'stuck through this unfortunate period with Fitzgerald'
Posted 09:37 12th July 2012
another possibility is that after a horrendous succession of injuries the guy is hoping for a year at full pelt after which talk of paycuts will be long forgotten and the IRFU may be left feeling that they should have stuck through a period with Fitzgerald. They have done so for lesser players!
Posted 09:36 12th July 2012
Fitzgerald is still one of the biggest talents in Irish Rugby well done Leinster, why they signed a NZ back ???? Madigan/$exton/Mc Fadden and more there, I want to see Andrew Conway make his name this year! Fionn Carr would be an addition to Connaught would you believe and if Ireland are centrally contracting players they should be spread accross the 4 provinces. Elwood has bought in well so far, maybe he should sign Conway - this dude is better than Zebo and more who have made it!
Posted 23:18 11th July 2012
You would have to wonder if it was his side that only asked for a one year contract - very short.
If he fails to get a central contract next year, I guess the logic would be that he will be more free to negotiate with clubs outside Ireland.
Posted 17:30 11th July 2012
great news on fitzgerald. not so sure we need out-half back up, when sextons away with ireland madigan will play so surely it's better to have another young irish player on the bench
@PR: referring to fitzgerald as a B&I squad member makes it sound like he only played midweek, i just want to point out that he was capped in the second test
Posted 17:07 11th July 2012