Keith Earls has announced his retirement from rugby following a 16-year professional career with Munster and Ireland.
Earls made the decision after Ireland’s exit from the World Cup, during which he won his 101st Test cap, and finishes as the country’s second highest try scorer behind Brian O’Driscoll with 36.
The 36-year-old started all of Ireland’s matches during the 2018 Grand Slam-winning campaign and most recently featured at his fourth World Cup.
Earls scored 64 tries in 202 appearances for Munster, which saw him second in the club’s all-time list.
Limerick-born Earls helped Munster win the 2022–23 United Rugby Championship Grand Final against South African side Stormers in May and was also part of the successful European Cup squad in 2008.
“The game of rugby has given me so much and I feel privileged to have represented my home province Munster and Ireland over the course of my career. I have always tried to be a good friend and team-mate and give all of myself to the jersey,” Earls said.
“While retirement is never an easy decision, now is the right time and I feel incredibly fortunate to go out on my own terms representing Ireland on the highest stage.”
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: “A gifted and committed outside back, Keith’s influence transcends his on-field achievements, of which there were many, both for Munster and Ireland. Keith was also a leader and an incredibly positive force and he will be missed.”
Munster head coach Graham Rowntree added: “Earlsie is an icon of Munster and Irish rugby. It’s hard to imagine Munster Rugby without Keith Earls and he has given so much to this province.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub