Monday, April 27, 2009

Keith Earls, Lions selection, local lad done good.

Diversifying from the usual fare you might find here, the Lions selection occupied a large portion of last week and in the paper at weekend. Last Tuesday was a highlight with the announcement, Paul O'Connell as captain, eight Munster players and 14 Irish players in total set to board the plane to South Africa. Savage!

At the opening of the new hydrotherapy pool in St.Gabriel's last Wednesday I managed to grab a quick chat with Keith Earls (pic above scoring against the Osprey's, credit Owen South) about his selection, a national exclusive I believe, I might be wrong but I don't think anyone else has managed to speak to him?

Anyway, for proper and bona-fide sports coverage/discussion/analysis, check out the Leader Sport's superb blog here, plus buy the paper for a wealth of coverage.

Poor old Tomas O'Leary was desperately unlucky to both dislocate and fracture his ankle in the first ten minutes of the match against the Scarlets, very harsh. Anyway, looking forward to the first Lions fixture on Saturday, May 30 against the Highveld XV.

Alan Owens
LIMERICK’S brightest rugby star Keith Earls has spoken for the first time about his Lions selection, revealing that he thought his chances were finished when he saw the first images of the selected players wearing the official strip appear on television.

“When it (the press conference) started, the lads came on the telly posing in jerseys - I thought, ‘I never posed in a jersey so I musn’t be in it.’ Whatever they do with computers I came out with the jersey on and I couldn’t believe it,” revealed the 21 year old from Moyross, speaking exclusively to the Limerick Leader at the opening of the new €4.6 million hydrotherapy pool in St. Gabriel’s school in Raheen.

Earls, who has set the rugby world and Limerick alight with his surprise selection for the touring party, said he was still in shock at his selection for the squad to travel to South Africa.

“I was shocked more than happy I think, I’m over the moon because I really wasn’t expecting it,” said the Munster star, who was in attendance at the opening of the pool with his team-mates Barry Murphy, Ian Dowling and Tony Buckley.

But it was the young Earls who created a stir among the children and their parents, patiently posing for photograph upon photograph, signing jerseys, flags and any available scraps of paper. Earls, who started his career with Thomond Rugby Club before signing this season with Young Munster - where his father Ger also played before him - won a Munster Schools Senior Cup medal with St. Munchin’s in 2006.

Keith said he watched the announcement with his father.

“I watched it live and brought my father out to the house just in case I did get called up because I got a letter the previous week saying I was in the provisional squad, so I told him to call out just in case.”

Looking ahead to the tour, Earls said: “It should be an unreal experience, I’m really looking forward to it”.

Posing patiently for photographs with children beside the pool, which will be used in the treatment of hundreds of disabled children, Earls was visibly impressed at the facility.

“It is great to see the kids enjoying themselves, this is an unreal facility, very impressive. This is my first time really doing anything like this and I enjoyed it. I like spending time with the kids and they love it, so it’s good.”

1 comment:

Isambard Chalky Brunel said...

Munster branch were on there, they've taken out a contract on your life for not asking permission to talk to their players.

€500 was the offered rate. I said I'd do it for €200.

Watch your back.