Foley won't risk Earls after second concussion
Munster coach Anthony Foley has allayed fears surrounding the fitness of Keith Earls after he suffered a second concussion in just 10 weeks.
Earls was stretchered off in Ireland's World Cup warm-up defeat to Wales in August and his latest blow to the head came in the dying stages of last Saturday's win in Edinburgh.
The Limerick native is currently completing the return-to-play protocols ahead of Munster's Champions Cup opener against Treviso and Foley admitted that the province would not take any risks with their players' health.
"He clearly got an elbow into the eye at the time," Foley said.
"I'm not a medical person so what the doctors said to me was that they were all pretty happy with him after the game.
"He was in the changing room, there were no ill effects after the hit. He got the cut cleaned up and got on the bus and he can remember everything from the game.
"There's protocols you have to follow with any bangs to the head. We're doing that and we're making sure the player's welfare is paramount here. If there are any issues we'll deal with that, we don't put our players in harm's way.
"Straight away when he did the impact tests after the game he was passed, and since then every test he's done has been passed."
Earls sat out training in Limerick yesterday but Foley is hopeful that he will be fit enough to return on Saturday despite a second concussion in such a short period of time.
"Look, if he was going into a contact area and we couldn't see what happened and he was getting concussed I'd be worried.
"If you see him getting hit by an elbow and he's a cut over the eye and a black eye you know that he's taken a sharp-edge knock and he's coherent after the game.
"I never like to see a player getting hurt but I'm not as worried as if he got up and was falling around the place. At times you catch a stray elbow out there and that's life."