Fitzgerald signs one-year deal with Leinster
LUKE FITZGERALD’S position with Leinster has been clarified with the announcement that he has signed with the province for another year. The talented international back, however, is not expected to return to competitive rugby until early in the new year following a 12-month stretch in which he has been dogged by injury.
The 24-year-old had forced his way back into the Leinster side this year but then missed the end of the season, including the Heineken Cup final as well as Ireland’s summer tour to New Zealand after he underwent surgery for an ongoing neck problem.
The one-year provincial contract gives Fitzgerald the chance to regain fitness and reassess just where his career is moving at the end of the 2012-13 season.
He was offered a reduced contract by the IRFU at the end of last year but the two parties could not reach agreement. The current contract is with Leinster alone and not as part of the central IRFU contracts.
Leinster also announced the double signing of South African secondrow Quinn Roux and New Zealand-born utility back Andrew Goodman on one-year deals. Roux (21) played a key role in helping Western Province to the Vodacom Cup title earlier this year.
The 6ft 6in lock weighs in at 120kg. It is anticipated he will link up with Leinster in time for the start of the PRO 12 campaign.
Twenty-nine-year-old Goodman joins after captaining Tasman Makos in 2011. At 6ft 2ins the experienced utility back is considered a playmaker.
“We are delighted that Luke has committed to the province for another year. Luke is an outstanding talent and he has played a major role in Leinster’s recent success,” said Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.
“Quinn is a physically imposing forward with a burgeoning reputation in South Africa and he will add further competitiveness to the secondrow.
“Andrew is a quality player and has been a consistent place-kicker for a number of years,” added Schmidt.