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full flight

Three magic Keith Earls assists and all the highlights from Ireland's summer tour to the US and Japan

Not content with sealing a record for himself, the Limerick man assisted five tries for five different scorers.

OVER THREE TESTS without their leading Lions, Ireland managed to rack up 135 points with 21 tries in the USA and Japan this month.

While we always expected Ireland to dominate against Tier 2 opposition, the performances of Keith Earls ensured that there was a bit of swagger to the manner of victory.

The Limerick man had a hand in nine of Ireland’s 21 touchdowns, grounding four himself and assisting for five different try-scorers.

In two of those final passes, he showed the value of doing the simple things well: calmly choosing the right time to pass inside the last defender for Jack Conan or carrying in two hands so that he can feign to pass right before popping over his left shoulder to the on-rushing James Ryan.

Those two (and the 12 tries that didn’t directly involve Earls) are well worth watching in the highlights below, but we could gawp over these three genius assists for another month, so they’re singling out before you dive in.

A debut try gift-wrapped for Jacob Stockdale


Kieran Marmion is away while Earls’ tackler is still looking for the ball


A try for Dan Leavy, but an offload for all to savour


All three see Earls combine his powerful acceleration with speed of thought and hands that never looked rushed.  If you didn’t manage to catch Ireland’s very unsociably-timed Tests on Eir Sport the first time around, there’s a lot more to like in the highlights below.

USA 19 Ireland 55

Watch out for: More of the Keith Earls show

Irish Rugby TV / YouTube

Japan 22 Ireland 50

Watch out for: Jack Conan leading the way as Irish forwards clock up some running metres

Irish Rugby TV / YouTube

Japan 13 Ireland 35

Watch out for: Paddy Jackson’s big hit on Akihito Yamada.

Irish Rugby TV / YouTube

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