Earls is currently on 96 Ireland caps. Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Injury Update

Earls faces 'longer-term rehab' so wait for 100th Ireland cap goes on

Munster say Damian de Allende and Jason Jenkins are back running.

KEITH EARLS WILL have to come through a “longer-term” spell of rehabilitation on the thigh injury that has kept him out of Ireland’s current Six Nations campaign.

The Munster man was named in Andy Farrell’s squad ahead of the championship but sustained the injury during Ireland’s pre-Six Nations training camp.

He left the Ireland squad and returned to his province to rehab the injury and hopes of seeing Earls back before the end of the Six Nations don’t appear too high.

The 34-year-old currently sits on 96 Test caps for Ireland and might have hoped to hit the 100-cap mark during this championship but he is instead back with Munster.

“He’s in and around the place at the moment so he’s part of our leadership group,” said Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham this week.

“He’s contributing as much as he can along those lines. He’s in a longer-term rehab programme at the moment, so when are we expecting him back? Not for the short-term.

“Once he gets out of, sort of, four or five weeks, then the timeline can be very variable based on how they respond in the first couple of weeks.”

However, Larkham didn’t completely rule Earls out of a return to action during this Six Nations window.

“Well, we’re not sure yet,” said Larkham. “We’ve got to see how he… it’s early days with the injury so we’ve got to see how he progresses over these first couple of weeks and then make a decision after that.”

Munster head into Friday night’s United Rugby Championship clash against Edinburgh at Thomond Park boosted by the availability of Gavin Coombes, Dave Kilcoyne, and Craig Casey, who have been released from Ireland camp for the weekend.

Hooker Niall Scannell has returned from injury and is also available, but back row Jack O’Sullivan will be absent due to illness.

Loosehead prop Liam O’Connor, second row Thomas Ahern, and back row Jack Daly are also currently sidelined, while Springboks pair Damian de Allende and Jason Jenkins remain unavailable due to their abdominal injuries.

damian-de-allende Damian de Allende is back running. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO


The South African duo hope to return soon.

“They are running at the moment and apparently they are running well, that’s the only update I have got,” said Larkham.

“What is their timeline? I’m not 100% sure but the update this week is that things are on schedule with those guys at the moment. But they are not going to play this week.”

In the background, Springboks lock RG Snyman continues his rehab of the re-ruptured ACL in his knee.

Snyman suffered the cruel injury back in October and the expectation was that it would end his season.

“He’s progressing well,” said Larkham of Snyman. “He has actually been training quite well, the feedback we are getting is that he is highly motivated at the moment and kicking along in terms of his rehab programme.

“I think everything is on track in terms of the original timeline that we spoke about — and I don’t know what that is — but he is on track and the rehab is going well.”

Munster are hoping to return to winning ways tomorrow night in Limerick, particularly given that Edinburgh are directly above them in fourth in the URC table.

Last weekend’s defeat away to Glasgow hasn’t been sitting well with the Munster group in recent days.

“It’s good to be back home,” said Larkham. “We have been away for a while, including the bye in Zebre and then last week, and it’s going to be good to play in front of a full Thomond Park and I think that helps.

“The opportunity to play at home means we don’t have to travel and that we get really good support. The ground is going to be familiar, the weather is going to be tricky from what we are seeing at the moment, which is what we like.

“I think there is nothing better from our perspective than to play in rain and torrential wind and a packed house and to try get the opposition to come up here and play in those conditions.” 

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