Friday 20 September 2019

Axel will always be revered here, says Earls

Keith Earls (player of the year) and Sammy Arnold (young player) pictured with their trophies at yesterday’s Munster Rugby Awards
Keith Earls (player of the year) and Sammy Arnold (young player) pictured with their trophies at yesterday’s Munster Rugby Awards

John Fallon

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

Earls, who has become the first to win the Munster senior player of the year award having already received the academy and young player gongs, said Foley will never forgotten by Munster.

"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 team titles.

"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 sixth European semi-final defeat and that's not taking the league into account.

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"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.

Sammy Arnold (young player) and Fineen Wycherley (academy) were also honoured, along with Joy Neville (referee), and Gillian Bourke (women's). Old Crescent (senior), Richmond (junior), Newport (youth), Killarney (mini) and Glenstal Abbey (schools) were also honoured at the awards ceremony.

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