Ben Brady/INPHO Munster’s Keith Earls celebrates with fans at the homecoming.
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Prendergast hopeful Earls will stay with Munster - 'He was calling for one more year himself'
The 35-year-old is currently contracted until the end of the World Cup this October.

MUNSTER ATTACK COACH Mike Prendergast said he would love if winger Keith Earls stayed for a 17th season but stressed nothing had been decided about the 35-year-old’s future.

Earls has been included in Andy Farrell’s extended World Cup training squad after an injury-ravaged season which meant he made just five starts and came off the bench four times.

But after a groin strain kept him out of the URC quarter-final victory away to Glasgow Warriors, the Limerick man made his mark in the semi-final against Leinster before the final win over Stormers in Cape Town at the weekend.

Prendergast, who has revolutionised Munster’s attack in his first season with his native province after a decade in France, said nothing has yet been decided.

“I don’t know, being honest with you, I genuinely don’t know. He was calling for one more year there himself. You’d never know,” said Prendergast, speaking at the homecoming reception for the victorious URC winners at Thomond Park where the crowd — with some encouragement from Earls — broke into a chant of ‘one more year, one more year.’

It’s believed that all parties involved are going to see how Earls, who is contracted until the end of the World Cup, does in the build-up to the tournament but Prendergast said that he would of course like if the Moyross flyer stayed on.

“Absolutely, Keith’s a wonderful fella. I have known him since he was a young boy, I played with his Dad, Ger, back in the day.

“A brilliant, brilliant pro and a great example to all our younger lads coming up. And obviously a world class player on top of it.”

Earls became the 14th player to chalk up 200 appearances for Munster when he played against the Sharks last month and he needs just two more appearances to hit the 100 mark with Ireland.

Earls, who made his debut against the Ospreys back in 2007, will be 36 in October. Prendergast hopeful Earls might stay on with Munster.

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