Ireland international Keith Earls announces retirement from professional rugby

Keith Earls has played 101 times for Ireland
Keith Earls has played 101 times for Ireland

Ireland international Keith Earls has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.

Earls made his Ireland debut in November 2008 against Canada and has gone on to feature in 101 Tests. He started in all of Ireland’s matches during the 2018 Grand Slam-winning campaign and was part of four Rugby World Cup campaigns in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.

He also has scored 36 tries in international rugby and also had represented Ireland Under 20 and Ireland Wolfhounds teams in the past.

“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, traits inherited from my parents Ger and Sandra and sister Jenny. 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.

“To all the coaches, teachers and volunteers who encouraged and guided me in Thomond, Garryowen and Young Munster and at school in St. Munchin’s College, I am indebted to you for your friendship and support over the years. "

The 36-year-old was a product of Munster Academy and made his professional rugby debut with the senior club in 2007 and has 202 appearances for them scoring 64 tries.

"Playing for Munster has given me some of the greatest days of my life. The victories, the heartaches, the camaraderie and the friendships with so many players, coaches and support staff over the years has positively impacted my life more than you will ever know.

“Being a Munster supporter growing up, before I even got the chance to pull on the jersey meant that I appreciated every moment to represent my province across my 202 appearances. I was so honoured to be a part of our URC success last season and I have no doubt that it will be a launchpad for the squad to soar even higher in the years to come.

“To all the Ireland coaches, players, support staff and supporters who have backed me throughout my career – thank you from the bottom of my heart. Finally, to my wife Edel, children Ella-May, Laurie and Emie – thank you for your unconditional love and support over the years. I couldn’t have made this journey without you.”


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