|Earls playing for Munster|
|Full name||Keith Gerard Earls|
|Date of birth||2 October 1987|
|Place of birth||Moyross, County Limerick, Ireland|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|School||St. Munchin's College|
|Notable relative(s)||Ger Earls (father)|
|Rugby union career|
|Position||Centre, Fullback, Wing|
|Years||Club / team|
|Professional / senior clubs|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|correct as of 30 Nov 2013.|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|correct as of 17 Mar 2013.|
Keith Gerard Earls (born 2 October 1987 in Moyross, County Limerick) is an Irish rugby union footballer for Munster in the RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup. Internationally, Earls plays for Ireland, and he represented the British and Irish Lions on their 2009 tour to South Africa. He plays as an Outside Centre, Winger or Fullback. He won a Munster Senior Cup medal with St. Munchin's College.
Earls made his Munster debut against Ospreys in April 2007. During the 2007/08 season, Earls was part of the Munster squad that beat Toulouse in the 2008 Heineken Cup Final. In the 2008/09 season, Earls really made his mark in the Munster first team, scoring 10 tries, including 2 in the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ospreys in May 2009 and a hat-trick in the Magners League against Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2008. He played for Munster during their historic 15–6 win over Australia on 16 November 2010. Earls was also part of the Munster team that beat Leinster to win the 2011 Magners League Grand Final.
He injured his knee in the first minute of Munster's Rabo Direct Pro12 match against Leinster on 4 November 2011, and was ruled out for 4–6 weeks. He made his return against Scarlets in Munster's Heineken Cup Round 4 fixture on 18 December 2011.
Earls was selected in Ireland's squad for the November Tests in 2009. He came on for the injured Luke Fitzgerald against Australia and started against Fiji, where he scored two tries, and against South Africa. He played in all 5 of Ireland's 2010 Six Nations Championship games, starting 4 of them. He scored a try against England and scored two more against Wales, finishing as joint top try scorer with Tommy Bowe, Shane Williams and James Hook.
He was selected in Ireland's squad for their 2010 Summer Tour to New Zealand and Australia, though he had to pull out of the squad due to a persistent groin injury. An ankle injury ruled him out of the beginning of the 2010/11 season. He was in the Ireland squad for the 2010 Autumn Tests, coming on against South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina. He started every game for Ireland during the 2011 Six Nations Championship, four on the left-wing and one at full-back. He was selected in Ireland's squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-ups in August, playing in both tests against France. He was selected in Ireland's final 30-man squad for the World Cup in New Zealand. He started on the wing against US Eagles in Ireland's first Pool C game, and again against Australia during their historic 6-15 victory over the Wallabies. He was switched to outside-centre against Russia and scored two tries. He returned to the left-wing for Ireland's final Pool C game against Italy and, on his birthday, scored a brace of tries in the 36-6 win. He scored his fifth World Cup try in Ireland's quarter-final defeat at the hands of Wales. This total of five tries made him Ireland's top try scorer at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Earls was selected in Ireland's 24-man squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championship. He was named in the team to face Wales in the opening fixture, but had to withdraw from the team when his recently-born daughter was taken ill. His place at outside centre was taken by Fergus McFadden. He returned to the Ireland team for their game against Italy, scoring a try, and played against France, Scotland and England.
He played at Inside Centre for Ireland in the first test against New Zealand on 9 June 2012, as part of a new centre-combination with Brian O'Driscoll. Earls missed the second test due to a pectoral injury, but returned to start the third test, this time on the left-wing. Earls started at 13 for Ireland in the opening 2012 Guinness Series test against South Africa on 10 November 2012, and again against Argentina on 24 November 2012.
Earls was named in Ireland squad for the 2013 Six Nations Championship on 17 January 2013, and came off the bench against Wales in Ireland's opening 22-30 win, and their 6-12 defeat against England on 10 February 2013. He came into the first XV against Scotland after Simon Zebo's injury, starting in his place on the left-wing. He continued there in the 13-13 draw against France. He started against Italy in the final game of the tournament, but went off injured in the 24th minute.
British and Irish Lions
On 21 April 2009, Earls was selected as part of the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa. He made his Lions debut on 30 May 2009, in a nervy, error-strewn performance against a South African Royal XV. A week later, against Currie Cup outfit the Free State Cheetahs, he put in a far improved showing, scoring an impressive try which ultimately proved crucial to the result, with the Lions coming through to win 26–24. On 23 June 2009, he scored a try from fullback in a tour match against the Emerging Springboks. On receiving the ball at the out half position and stepping past three rushing defenders, he touched down for the Lions' only try in a 13–13 draw. Earls also played against Western Province and Southern Kings in mid-week games, but he did not win any full Lions caps on the tour.
Keith has always pointed to his father, former Munster player Ger Earls, as a massive influence on his career.
Earls has a daughter, named Ella-Maye, with his partner Edel McGee.
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- "Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions". BBC Sport (BBC). 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Rugby takes back seat as Earls just wants baby daughter home". Irish Independent. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
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