Keith Earls signs two-year contract extension

‘Full prognosis’ Ireland wing’s knee ligament injury due in ‘coming days’

Munster’s Keith Earls leaves the field injured against Edinburgh on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster’s Keith Earls leaves the field injured against Edinburgh on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 11:13

Munster and Ireland wing Keith Earls has signed a two-year contract extension with the IRFU.

Earls, who will meet with a specialist on Wednesday to determine the exact nature of a knee injury he sustained in the final Heineken Cup pool game against Edinburgh, will now remain at Munster until at least June 2016.

“I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue representing my province,” said Earls today. “ This Munster team has shown it has what it takes to compete with the best in Europe and I look forward to playing my role in bringing further success to both Munster and Ireland.”

Munster Coach Rob Penney added: “We are delighted that Keith has signed a new IRFU contract which will see him remain a Munster player until the end of the 2016 season.

“Keith is an exciting player whose speed and acceleration can cause havoc for opposition defenses. As a senior member of the squad he will play a huge role in the future success of the province.”

Earls limped off the pitch in the first half of the bonus-point win at Thomond Park on Sunday after being injured in a tackle. He underwent a scan yesterday, which confirmed ligament damage, but a “full prognosis” will not be known until tomorrow at the soonest and Munster say there will be “a further update in the coming days”.

Earls’s injury has already prompted Ireland coach Joe Schmidt to call Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy into his training squad ahead of the Six Nations, which kicks off against Scotland on February 2nd.

A statement from the province added: “As a precautionary measure, (Ireland lock) Donnacha Ryan underwent exploratory keyhole surgery on his knee last Friday.

“The procedure re-confirmed no additional injury or damage and he will continue with his rehabilitation for the next few weeks as he waits for the knee to settle.”

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