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Luckless Luke Fitzgerald will miss out on Six Nations

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Luke Fitzgerald is out of the RBS Six Nations after suffering a "fairly innocuous but very unfortunate" knee ligament injury.

The Leinster three-quarter suffered his injury blow during Ireland's open training session at the Aviva Stadium last Friday, and could be out of action for two months.

The 28-year-old impressed off the bench in Ireland's 43-20 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina, and would have been hoping to force his way into Joe Schmidt's starting line-up.

Now, though, the 34-cap flyer will be unable to help Ireland in their quest to retain the Six Nations trophy for an unprecedented third year in succession.

The luckless ace has missed all but one of Schmidt's Six Nations games in charge due to fitness issues. Ireland's team manager Mick Kearney said: "Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out of the Six Nations with a medial ligament injury to his knee.

"He is expected to be out for six to eight weeks and no replacement has been called in.

"He was just doing a tackling drill at the Aviva on Friday, his foot got caught in the grass.

"It was fairly innocuous but very unfortunate."

Ireland are already without Ulster wing Tommy Bowe, still a long-term casualty with knee trouble. Head coach Schmidt can still call on Andrew Trimble, Dave Kearney and Keith Earls for the wing, with Simon Zebo able to feature out wide or at full-back.

"He was very upset and feared the worst," added Kearney. "He had a great World Cup and was flying for Leinster."

Belfast Telegraph


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