Former Limerick minor hurler in line to make European debut for Connacht

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Former Limerick minor hurler in line to make European debut for Connacht

Conor Fitzgerald, who is in line to make his European Challenge Cup debut for Connacht on Saturday

TWENTY one-year-old former Limerick minor hurler Conor Fitzgerald is in line to make his European Challenge Cup debut for Connacht in Galway this Saturday.

Shannon RFC out-half Fitzgerald has been listed among the replacements for Connacht’s Challenge Cup opening round fixture against Bordeaux Bégles at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick off 3pm).

Fitzgerald, who played a starring role in Shannon’s promotion to Division 1A of the All-Ireland League for this season, was released from the Munster Academy programme at the end of last season.

The talented footballer has since joined the Connacht Academy and is one of two players from their Academy included in the matchday squad to face Bordeaux Begles by Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend.

A younger brother of Munster player Stephen Fitzgerald, who lines out for Munster A in their crucial Celtic Cup fixture with Leinster A in Dublin this Friday evening, Conor is a former Munster Schools Senior Cup star with Ardscoil Ris. 

Conor Fitzgerald made his senior Munster debut in preseason action against Zebre in August 2016.

A former Limerick minor hurler, Fitzgerald has also played for both Munster and Ireland at U19 and U20 level, including featuring against New Zealand at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia.

He made his British and Irish Cup debut for Munster A against Nottingham Rugby in October 2017.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend said: “​We have included Conor Fitzgerald and Colm De Buitléar, two promising Academy players, among our replacements.

“We hope that they will get a chance to make their debuts at some stage during the eighty minutes. It is a big opportunity to be involved in a European fixture especially in front of the home fans in the Sportsground.”