Six Nations: Earls misses training - to look after new born daughter
THIRTEEN is lucky for some, and certainly for Ireland rugby star and new dad Keith Earls who replaces Brian O'Driscoll in the number 13 jersey.
Yesterday it was announced that Mr Earls will replace the injured Brian O'Driscoll and take his famous number 13 rugby jersey for the first game of the Six Nations.
Mr Earls missed training yesterday, but the flamboyant rugby star had a good excuse -- he now has a baby daughter to look after.
Mr Earls (24) and his partner, Edel McGee, are still getting accustomed to becoming parents after little Ella Maye was born last week.
Ireland take on Wales this Sunday in their first match in this year's championship and all Irish supporters will be keen for revenge after their opponents knocked them out of last year's World Cup in New Zealand.
Not alone has Mr Earls to prepare to fill the boots of the injured Mr O'Driscoll for Sunday's match, but he also has to adapt to his daughter's night feeds and changing nappies.
A delighted grandfather, Ger Earls, said his first grandchild was born on January 24.
"Keith is over the moon. We all are. Edel and her daughter are doing great -- thanks be to God," Ger told the Irish Independent.
The well-known Limerick man said his son would learn all about fatherhood over the weeks, months and years ahead.
"It is another adventure for Keith but there is no fear in him. He'll be great at it."
He admitted Ella Maye had been spoilt since her arrival. "It is our first grandchild. We had a great celebration for her after she arrived so we are all delighted," Ger added.
While little Ella Maye is not even a fortnight old, she has already come to the attention of Irish manager Declan Kidney.
"There are a lot of things happening for Keith at the moment and he's buzzing," Mr Kidney said.