Luke Fitzgerald On The Time Joe Schmidt Almost Left Him In Tears
Luke Fitzgerald has opened up about an encounter with Ireland boss Joe Schmidt from the 2015 Rugby World Cup that left the former Leinster winger almost in tears.
Speaking on the Independent.ie podcast, ‘The Left Wing’, Fitzgerald says that in the week leading up to the Italy game he was hit hard by an extremely strong reaction from Schmidt to an incident so minor that Fitzgerald was not sure whether or not it was he that Schmidt was upset with.
Fitzgerald says he’s never been so embarrassed.
A few things didn’t go right for me. I remember getting absolutely rinsed by Joe in a session. We were training against Harlequins and I’d never been so embarrassed. He just started abusing me.
It started off… I went clean through on a linebreak and he just didn’t like the line I took but I went clean through and I was like, ‘Is he giving out to me?’
There was a few in a row and I just fell apart. He started giving out to me in front of both teams. Whatever about giving out to me in front of the Irish lads. I’ve never been so embarrassed, I completely fell apart. Dropped a few clean ones, didn’t make it into the team for the weekend.
I left the place nearly in tears. I didn’t know whether to box him or… I just fell apart. Off the back of that, I didn’t get picked for one of the matches. It might have been the Italian week.
I was unbelievably upset about it. I just remember thinking, ‘I better get away quickly before I say something that I’ll really regret’. I went and had a coffee and calmed myself down.