Keith Earls Set To Join Munster 200 Club
20th April 2023 By The Editor
If selected, Keith Earls will become the 14th player to join the Munster 200 Club against Sharks in Cape Town on Saturday (5.15pm Irish time/6.15pm local – live on TG4 & Premier Sports).
He is Munster’s second-highest try-scorer of all-time with 64 tries in 199 appearances to date. Earls has 98 Ireland caps and 35 international tries with a combined 99 tries for province and country. He scored two tries in five appearances for the British & Irish Lions on the 2009 tour to South Africa.
Earls made his Munster debut 16 years ago this month, away to Ospreys in 2007, after coming up through the ranks of Thomond RFC and St Munchin’s College.
The son of former Munster flanker Ger, he caught the eye at Schools level and helped the Ireland U20s to a Grand Slam in 2007 and also featured for Garryowen and Young Munster in the AIL.
He was among the replacements for the 2008 Heineken Cup final and scored a hat-trick of tries in the Magners League game against Dragons at Musgrave Park in September 2008.
He was a try-scorer on his Ireland debut against Canada in Thomond Park two months later and won a Magners League title in April 2009 before becoming a British & Irish Lion that summer at the age of just 21.
Earls helped Munster beat Australia 15–6 in November 2010 at Thomond Park and won another Magners League in 2011, scoring one of the Munster tries in the Grand Final victory against Leinster.
He was a member of the 2011 Ireland World Cup squad that reached the quarter-final in New Zealand and his total of five tries made him Ireland’s top try-scorer at the tournament.
Earls made his 100th appearance for Munster in 2015 and played in that year’s Rugby World Cup in England. Showed wonderful form and started every game of the World Cup campaign, alternating between the left wing and outside centre.
At the tournament Keith Earls also eclipsed Brian O’Driscoll’s Ireland try-scoring record at Rugby World Cup level, making it eight tries across eight tournament appearances, one more than his former team-mate.
In June 2016 he started on the wing for Ireland in their first ever win over the Springboks on South African soil.
The standout performer in Ireland’s 2017 Summer Tour of the USA and Japan, he set a new Irish record for tries scored in a season. His tally of nine tries overtook Denis Hickie’s record of eight from 2002/03.
Started all five games as Ireland won the Grand Slam in 2018 and made his sixth Champions Cup semi-final appearance for Munster against Racing 92 in Bordeaux.
Starred in Ireland’s 2-1 Test Series victory over Australia in June 2018 and started Ireland’s win over New Zealand in November 2018.
Earls travelled to his third Rugby World Cup with Ireland in 2019 and featured in four games.
Scored two tries against Toulouse in the Champions Cup round of 16 in 2021 and continued to rack up the tries with five in 12 appearances last year.
Captained Ireland against the Maori All Blacks in July 2022 and has made six Munster appearances so far this season, returning from injury to feature off the bench against Stormers last week.
Keith Earls’ 64 Munster Tries – By Opposition
8 v Leinster, Ulster & Edinburgh
6 v Benetton
5 v Ospreys
4 v Toulouse & Dragons
3 v Connacht & Scarlets
2 v Racing 92, Gloucester, Glasgow Warriors & Brive
1 v Biarritz, Wasps, Sale Sharks, Stade Francais, Castres, Perpignan & London Irish