Tuesday 21 August 2018

Limerick use rugby hero Keith Earls as secret weapon for All-Ireland bid

 

Keith Earls. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Keith Earls. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor​

Keith Earls has emerged as Limerick's secret weapon in their journey to this year's All-Ireland hurling final.

The Munster and Ireland star has worked with the panel behind the scenes, according to his team-mate Conor Murray who attended last Sunday's extra-time victory over Cork at Croke Park to cheer on the men in green.

Murray is hoping to attend the final against either Galway or Clare in just over two weeks' time and he is confident that John Kiely's men can deliver on the biggest stage and end a 45-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup with the help of the 70-times-capped winger.

"I would be asking them how to get past a semi-final first," he joked when asked what advice he would give the squad ahead of their first final in 11 years.

"Earlsy was out chatting to them actually. They have linked into that a little bit.

"They look like a team that are completely comfortable. They look like a team that didn't get bogged down by the occasion last week and that was the fear with Limerick going to Croke Park for years.

"They seem to have a grasp on that. Earlsy is doing a good job with that."

Earls has spoken at length about the work he has done to improve his own mental and physical preparation, even engaging the services of mentalist Keith Barry, and he got significant reward for his work last season as he was voted players' player of the year after playing a leading role in the Grand Slam success.

The 31-year-old is not the first rugby star to lend his expertise to a GAA panel, his former team-mate Denis Leamy worked with the 2016 All-Ireland-winning Tipperary side, while Seán O'Brien was involved with the Wexford hurlers in 2014.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport