Earls is expected to return for Munster

Earls is expected to return for Munster
Keith Earls and Jack O'Donoghue sit out Munster Rugby squad training. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

MUNSTER expect Keith Earls to resume training this week as the province step up preparations for Sunday’s Champions Cup semi-final v Racing 92 in Bordeaux.

The winger injured his knee in Ireland’s Six Nations win over England and Munster say the player “continues to make strides with his recovery.”

There was also a positive update about the fitness of scrum-half Duncan Williams, who had been ruled out for the rest of the season with facial injuries suffered in training, but will now “meet with the specialist to review an earlier return timeline.”

Keith Earls goes off injured against England in March. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Keith Earls goes off injured against England in March. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Following last Friday night’s win against the Cheetahs, Jack O’Donoghue and Dan Goggin are being assessed for respective ankle and knee knocks, while James Hart is following return-to-play protocols this week.

Meanwhile, Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter believes the French outfit will have to produce “something special” to beat Munster in Sunday’s European Champions Cup semi-final.

The All Black legend faced the province this season in Racing’s 14-7 loss in Thomond Park, but missed the return leg, won by the French giants 34-30, and he is hugely impressed by the Reds.

Carter admitted:”They’re a class side, well drilled, so we’re going to have to pull something special out in the semi-final if we’re going to advance into the final.

“It’s huge, not only for me, but for the team,” he said of Sunday’s semi-final in Bordeaux. 

“I love having history and doing things that no teams have done before. 

"If you look back at Racing 92’s history and how rare it is to make a final in Europe, we were lucky enough to do it a couple of years ago, so we’d love to go one step further, [but] we realise that we can’t look too far ahead. 

"We’ve got quality opposition in front of us, so we’ll enjoy this moment and make sure that we continue to work hard to give ourselves the best chance to make the final,” said Carter.

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