KEITH EARLS has signed a new national contract to remain at Munster until 2021.
Having considered an offer from Saracens when his last contract was up, in 2016, Earls was always likely to remain at Munster this time, after a successful, relatively injury-free pair of seasons.
Earls’s contract announcement follows news that Conor Murray, Jean Kleyn, and several other key Munster players have committed their futures to the province.
“It would be hard to see me playing anywhere else! I’m delighted to have re-signed for a further two years,” he said.
“My family and I are thrilled and I’m looking forward to the future with Munster and Ireland.”
Meanwhile, Ireland number 10, Johnny Sexton, has said that it is important for Ireland to put down a marker against New Zealand, ahead of the World Cup. Ireland could end up playing the All Blacks in a potential quarter-final in Japan, making their clash at the Aviva all the more mouth-watering.
“It is our last chance to play against them, before the World Cup, and if things go well in the pool, we could have a game against South Africa,” Sexton said.
“But that could go either way and we could end up playing them in the quarter-finals. So, it’s important that we’re able to match it with them.
“Before you play them, you know it’s going to be the toughest game of the season, always. I remember one of my first games (in 2010), I vomited at half-time. It was just an incredible pace to the game, just every collision was ferocious. Every collision was like the first collision of the game.
"But I think our levels of fitness now, and our levels of preparation, have gone up a lot since then. We’ve never beaten them in Ireland, so it would be pretty special to be on the first Irish team to beat them here.”