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Heineken Cup
Fitzgerald out of Heineken Cup final
ESPN Staff
May 4, 2012
Leinster Luke Fitzgerald dives in to score one of his two tries against Bath, Leinster v Bath, Heineken Cup, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, December 17, 2011
Luke Fitzgerald will miss the Heineken Cup final © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Luke Fitzgerald
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Luke Fitzgerald will miss the Heineken Cup final and Ireland's tour of New Zealand in order to undergo neck surgery.

The Leinster winger has been ruled out for the remainder of the season in order to correct the persistent problem, meaning that he will not be available as they seek to secure back-to-back European titles against Ulster at Twickenham on May 19.

Fitzgerald has not played for Ireland since August 2011, with this latest setback ensuring that an international recall is again not on the cards.

"Obviously to lose a player of Luke's pedigree at such a crucial time of the season is a massive blow, not just for the team and our supporters, but also for the player himself," Leinster boss Joe Schmidt said. "Luke has been in fine form recently and as well as his capabilities on the field, he is a positive and popular presence within the dressing-room.

"Knowing Luke, he will be determined to overcome this setback and aggressively tackle his rehab to regain full fitness and he will continue to benefit from the full support of Leinster and the IRFU during that timeframe."

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