June International Tours

Psychologist behind Fitzgerald’s Lions call up



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New British and Irish Lions cap Luke Fitzgerald has given credit to a sports psychologist to help him win a place in the Test team to face the Springboks in the second Test at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Fitzgerald missed the opening three matches of the tour because of a chest infection and fatigue after playing 30 matches in the season, and was part of the Ireland Grand Slam team and won the Heineken Cup with Leinster.

On arriving in South Africa he was told to take a break and was worried that he might get left behind in the race for a Test spot, reports the Lions website. Fitzgerald then decided to consult with his Dublin-based sports psychologist Enda McNulty.

Fitzgerald has now been selected for the test team in Pretoria on Saturday where he replaces Ugo Monye on the left wing.

“When I wasn’t playing and had time to myself, things did crop into my mind but, thankfully, I got some really good advice. I’ve got a very good support structure in terms of family and guys I can talk to, such as Enda,” said Fitzgerald.

“My family will come out to South Africa this week so it will be nice for them to catch up with them and be close to me in such an important moment in my career.

“They have always been there for me and I’m just delighted to be given the opportunity.”

Included among the Fitzgerald clan supporting 21-year-old Luke will be his father, Des, who played for the Lions against a rest of the World XV in Cardiff in 1986.

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