Leinster’s RaboDirect PRO12 Ambassador Luke Fitzgerald has endured a frustrating season to date with a neck injury that has kept him out of action since the end of last season.
The Leinster, Ireland and British Lions winger is targeting a return to action from that knock in January with the European champions currently involved in a major battle to reach the Heineken Cup knockout stages and the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs.
Here he tells us why Shane Horgan is in his bad books and who the worst person to share a room with is on tour.
What are your nicknames?
I don’t have too many yet but the lads tend to call me ‘Fitzdog’ or just ‘Doggie’. I’ve got a lot of time left in my career though so maybe the lads will come up with a few more.
If you weren’t playing rugby what would you want to be?
This depends on if it were my dream job or what I’d actually be doing. I’d probably be in college at the moment aiming to work in financial services in London or New York. If I could actually do anything I’d probably go for a professional golfer, they seemed to get on ok.
Who are your rugby heroes?
My old man Des definitely deserves a mention here, obviously playing for Irelandhe was a particular hero of mine. Then you have Christian Cullen and Tim Horan who I used to watch a lot. Jonah Lomu is another for everyone of my generation but I’ve also watched some footage of Serge Blanco when he used to play and he’s up there.
Who has been your best ever roommate?
The best is trickier, probably Ian Madigan, but Fergus McFadden is definitely the worst. There is a smell, it’s not just him, it’s his clothes and everything and you can’t avoid it.
Who’s your gym buddy?
With the injury I’ve been pretty much training on my own but when I’m fit I do quite a lot of stuff with Eoin O’Malley. The training is similar and he’s very vain as well so he keeps you on your toes.
Which rugby player would you least like to meet down a dark alley?
I’ll stay within the RaboDirect PRO12 and even within my own club and go for Cian Healy. You definitely wouldn’t want to bump into him.
What are your guilty ‘diet’ pleasures?
When you are playing it’s not too bad but at the moment I’m really struggling and marshmallows seem to be my real weakness. I’m not sure why but it’s a bit of a battle and they are definitely winning at the moment.
What do you like to do on a day off?
I’m quite keen on fishing and actually bought myself a boat about four or five years ago so that I can go out. I tend to fish just on the River Liffey, so not far away. That’s one to do without the rest of the lads causing a racket.
If you had a theme tune to walk out to (like in Twenty20 cricket) what would it be?
That would definitely have to be Underdog by Kasabian, although I’m a big fan of Fool’s Gold by the Stone Roses as well.
What are your hobbies outside rugby?
A bit of an odd one but I’m quite keen on archery. I got an injury a couple of years ago which kept me out for quite a long time and I got into it then. I’ve kept an interest in it pretty much ever since, and it’s always a useful skill to have. Who knows, one day when everyone runs out of guns and ammunition, I’ll be all right with my bow and arrow.
What newspapers do you read?
I’m not a big one for reading the papers but when I do it tends to be the Irish Times. I have to make sure I don’t read anything they write about me though – unless it’s good that is.
Who is your favourite rugby pundit?
I’d have to say none of them. My old teammate Shane Horgan – who I played with for years – has started doing punditry but even he ignores me. I haven’t been mentioned in any of his team’s yet so I’ve no idea what I’ve done to upset him. I’ll have to have a word!
Do you have any superstitions?
No superstitions as such. Although I have been wearing the same undershorts for the past six or maybe seven years. It’s a comfort thing really, and it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.