Luke Fitzgerald has admitted that versatility may get him into the British & Irish Lions Test squad – but not the starting XV.
The Leinster back started at inside center in Saturday’s narrow victory over The Cheetahs but then lined up on the left wing in the midweek rout of The Sharks.
Fitzgerald scored in the latter game, and generally looked far more at ease out wide than he had done in midfield four days previously.
As result, the Dubliner is hoping that McGeechan will now view him as a winger as opposed to a center.
“I always think that versatility is a positive when it comes to getting into squads, but when it comes to getting into the starting line-up it can sometimes be a hindrance,” he mused.
“They just don’t know where to pick you so you end up being seen as a good option for the bench because you can cover a lot of positions.
”But hopefully they [The Lions management] don’t see me like that. I hope they see me in one position.
“I haven’t discussed it with ‘Geech. I’m happy to trust Ian and do a job wherever he wants me to play.
“But I’ve played most of my rugby this year on the wing and that’s where I feel most comfortable at this point. I would like to be seen as a wing at this point in time.”
It would certainly boost his chances of inclusion in the squad for the first Test against The Springboks, in Durban on June 20, as Jamie Roberts, barring injury, is almost certain to start in midfield alongside Brian O’Driscoll, while Shane Williams’ poor form means that the number 11 jersey is now very much up for grabs.
In that context, Fitzgerald’s try-scoring performance against The Sharks was a huge boost for the 21-year-old.
“It’s always nice to cross the try-line but I focus much more on performance around the pitch,” he explained.
”But, I suppose, as a winger, it’s very important to get on the end of a few things. Wingers generally are seen as the finishers so it was a nice bonus.
“Overall, I’m reasonably happy with how I’ve gone. Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity to show what I’m capable of and stake a claim for one of those pretty prized possessions, a Test place, because with all the competition for places at the moment, it’s very hard to know where you’re sitting.
“In the two games so far I haven’t really gotten too much ball but hopefully I’ve been positive enough in what I’ve tried to do and the coaches will see that. But I’ll just have to wait and see.”
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