IT’S A BIG DEAL TO BE STAYING AT MUNSTER
KEITH EARLS admits his newly signed Munster contract could be his last but he’s right on course with his career plan.
The 31-year-old recently penned a deal that will take him up to 2021 with the province.
“It was great, especially with a year still left on it,” he said. “This will take me to 34, it potentially could be my last one.
“But, for me, at my age it would have been November 2012, I hadn’t played for four or five weeks and I ended up starting against South Africa.
“If it was nowadays, you’ve two or three fellas who can easily slot in. You wouldn’t even get in the squad, never mind the team.
“It has been brilliant. At the last World Cup, that’s what got us. We lost a lot of players but now we have four or five fellas who could easily come in in any position.
“You saw it in the Six Nations when Robbie Henshaw got injured, Chris Farrell got injured and all of a sudden Garry Ringrose is playing. He’s world class, you know. It’s credit to the coaches, credit to the players and the depth we have.”
So did any of those left behind watching the eight-try fest in Chicago last weekend have some mixed emotions about what they were seeing unfold at Soldier Field?
“Oh no,” replied Earls. “You want to see Ireland do well.
“There are a lot of fellas putting their hands up and we’re constantly looking over our backs at what’s coming.
“But you have to have confidence within yourself and within the team that you can find a balance to get ahead.” silly to go abroad. First of all I love playing for Munster and Ireland. Body-wise, physically, mentally and off the field, Ireland and the provinces look after you so well.
“That was a massive factor, the way I’m looked after here. It’s my home and I don’t want to play anywhere else.
“I know fellas, involved in talks now, where it is not working out and they get distracted and it takes away from their game.”