Luke Fitzgerald Picks Bizarre Ireland Team To Take On Italy

Not happening.

Former Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald has had a go a picking an Ireland team to take on Italy next week – and his selection is a little bit on the crazy side.

While head coach Joe Schmidt will likely change things up a little bit for the trip to Rome, it’s highly unlikely he’ll bring two players in Ian Madigan and Simon Zebo back in from the wilderness on a weeks’ notice.

“I did go crazy,” Fitzgerald said of his team selection.

“I’ve Jack McGrath back in at loosehead because he needs game time. He is a Lions player and a top quality operator. I’ve brought in Rhys Ruddock as well, he has been brilliant for Leinster and a guy we should mention.

“Obviously the two that are going to cause a bit of consternation – Ian Madigan, I’ve brought him in from the cold because I think he is playing good rugby over in Bristol at the moment. I think he is still probably our second best ten even though Joey Carbery went well last week. I need to rile up the Munster supporters Tommy!”

“Simon Zebo at fullback. I think he would be starting for Ireland there [had he stayed]. There is precedent with Johnny Sexton. I think Ireland look like they need another play-maker outside. He is a brilliant ball-handler and an excellent runner. He is brilliant in the air, and has a left foot kicking option. He is the guy that Ireland are really missing, he would make a massive difference to the team.”

Luke Fitzgerald’s Ireland team to face Italy

15. Simon Zebo
14. Keith Earls
13. Will Addison
12. Chris Farrell
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Ian Madigan
9. John Cooney

1. Jack McGrath
2. Sean Cronin
3. Andrew Porter
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Sean O’Brien