"I think you're making a mistake" - Luke Fitzgerald reveals World Cup conversation with Joe Schmidt

Recently retired Leinster and Ireland man speaks to Off The Ball at the launch of Eir Sport

Luke Fitzgerald,

The eir Sport Pack is now free to all existing and new eir broadband customers. Customers can access this content via their TV platform or the device of their choice. This equates to €300 of value free to every eir broadband customer. Pictured today Luke Fitzgerald ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Luke Fitzgerald has revealed that he told Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt that he was "making a mistake" not to include him in the starting team to face Argentina at the last World Cup.

The former Leinster and Ireland star, who recently retired from rugby due to a neck injury, was speaking to Off The Ball at the launch of Eir Sport.

"Actually I thought I was playing really good rugby in the World Cup and I was really, really disappointed to not get picked in those teams. That was a real bug-bear because I was playing really well," he began.

"But the Argentina game, I knew I was playing well and I'd got five minutes here and there. I was thinking 'if you actually just pick me here, I'm going to do something special here.'"

Asked by Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy what he eventually told Schmidt, Fitzgerald responded, "I just said 'I disagree, I think I'm the right man for the job.  

"'From a defensive point of view and from an attack point of view, I think you're making a mistake' and it proved to be right. Without cutting anyone, you can take from that what you will.

"I told him after he selected the team for Argentina that I thought it was a mistake. He was saying that he obviously didn't think it was a mistake. 'Hard luck mate, I make the last call' [said Schmidt]."

He eventually came on for the injured Tommy Bowe 13 minutes into the quarter-final defeat and had scored an excellent try within 15 minutes of taking to the field.

The decision to retire in the end was easier as in some ways it was taken out of his hands.

"[The doctor] just told me he didn't think it would be safe to keep playing so decision made from there," he said.

"I was certainly disappointed but once one of the best surgeons in the world tells you 'you can't do this, it's too dangerous', it becomes simple. 'Do you want all your grub and drink out of a straw for the rest of your life?' 'No I'm not too keen on that'. There's a lot more stuff to be done. There's an awful lot more life to live and I wasn't too keen to take the risk."

Luke Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of eir Sport, formerly Setanta Sports and the eir Sport Pack. The eir Sport pack includes eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2; BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN. The eir Sport Pack is now free to all existing and new eir broadband customers. eir Sport has also secured the rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. eir Sport was formerly Setanta Sports.