Earls sustained the injury at Twickenham. Dan Sheridan/INPHO
big blow

Munster confirm Keith Earls suffered knee ligament damage at Twickenham

The winger will miss next week’s showdown with Toulon.

KEITH EARLS WILL miss Munster’s Champions Cup quarter-final with Toulon next week after he was ruled out for six weeks with knee ligament damage.

The Ireland winger sustained the injury in the closing stages of the Six Nations victory over England at Twickenham last weekend and the province have now confirmed the news.

Munster say ‘it is not as bad as first feared’ but as well as being ruled out of next weekend’s last eight tie, Earls is likely to miss a potential European semi-final and the closing stages of Munster’s Pro14 season.

He should, however, come back into contention for Ireland’s summer tour of Australia.

Johann van Graan’s side face Scarlets at Thomond Park this evening and then have just three regular Pro14 season fixtures remaining, as well as the visit of the Top 14 heavyweights to Limerick.

“With Munster’s Grand Slamming winning contingent of Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Conor Murray and the injured Keith Earls all returning to the province next week, the news on Earls is not as bad as first feared,” the province said.

“It has been confirmed that the winger, who sustained knee ligament damage in Twickenham last Saturday, will not be available for approximately six weeks, ruling him out of the Champions Cup quarter final against Toulon on 31 March.”

It is a particularly significant blow for Munster and the player himself, with Van Graan already planning without a number of key players for the business end of the campaign.

Andrew Conway (knee), Chris Cloete (arm), Jaco Taute (knee), Chris Farrell (knee) and Tyler Bleyendaal (neck) are all currently sidelined.

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