Tuesday 22 January 2019

'He is remembered every day at training' - Keith Earls with an emotional tribute to Anthony Foley

Keith Earls was crowned as Munster's Player of the Year. Photo: Sportsfile
Keith Earls was crowned as Munster's Player of the Year. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Keith Earls said that not a day goes by that Anthony Foley is not remembered at Munster training.

The Irish winger, who yesterday became the first to win the Munster senior player of the year award having already captured the academy and young player gongs, said that Foley will never forgotten on a day when he presented an award to his widow Olive at the Munster Player of the Year awards.

“None of us would be here today only for him and for the ambition he had for Munster Rugby.

“It was an honour for me to present the award to Olive. I know Axel for years, he played against my father.

“He is remembered every day at training, that’s what he has done for all of us. We remember him every day and we are all grateful to him.

“But I think we appreciate each other a lot more as well because you just never know what’s going to happen down the line,” he said.

Earls, speaking in Cork at the annual awards ceremony which were sponsored by the Irish Independent, said that while he appreciated individual awards, he much preferred getting ‘a small medal’ for capturing titles as a team.

“It is an honour to be recognised but we are team players and it is team trophies we are after, but this is something I will look back on when I do retire and I will be grateful for it.

“We are desperate to do well and win trophies, especially myself and lads who have been around for a long time. That was my six European semi-final defeat and then when you take into account the PRO14 and stuff like that we are desperate to win silverware.

“We’ve had it out about the semi-final this week and now we move on to Ulster and the other games that are left,” he added.

Centre Sammy Arnold was named as Young Player of the Year while the John McCarthy Award for Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Player of the Year went to Fineen Wycherley.

Two-time 6 Nations winner Gillian Bourke is the Munster Women's Player of The Year having played an integral role as Munster reclaimed the interprovincial title.

Joy Neville was named Referee of the Year for the second season in a row.

Old Crescent RFC took the Senior Club of the Year award, while the junior award also went to a Limerick club with Richmond RFC being honoured.

Newport RFC won the Club Youth award, with Killarney RFC taking the Club mini section, while Glenstal Abbey won the School of the Year.

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