Who could fill their boots?
Eoin O'Malley: He has impressed this season when deputising for Brian O'Driscoll but looks a lot less effective on the wing and is behind Fitzgerald in terms of development. He will keep improving but whether he can make the step up to high-class international remains to be seen.
Fionn Carr: This prolific try scorer at Connacht returned to Leinster last summer but has struggled for game time which has stunted his progression.
Had he moved to Munster, Carr would be playing week in week out and would probably be a shoo-in to start against Ulster in the Heineken cup quarterfinals on Easter weekend. The reality is that he will be warming the bench at the Aviva with only a slim chance of action.
Dave Kearney: Rob's younger brother, is still maturing and at 22 has lots of rugby ahead of him. Plenty of pace but needs a few years to discover the guile and timing his brother has in spades.
Andrew Conway: Has the capacity to be a world-class back, but his lack of physicality is an issue at the highest level. At 12st 12lb, the 20-year-old would struggle to compete with the Alex Cuthberts and George Norths of the world.