Thursday 13 December 2018

Earls set to miss Munster's quarter-final against Toulon

Keith Earls. Photo: Sportsfile
Keith Earls. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Keith Earls looks set to miss Munster's Champions Cup clash against Toulon after limping out of Saturday's Grand Slam clash with a knee injury.

The winger, who has been nominated for NatWest Six Nations Player of the Tournament alongside his Ireland team-mates Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton and Jacob Stockdale, would be a major loss for Johann van Graan who is also fretting on the fitness of Simon Zebo who came off injured on Friday. Munster take on the three-time champions at Thomond Park on Saturday week.

The Irish quartet face competition from, Italian full-back Matteo Minozzi and France captain Guilhem Guirado who were selected by a panel of rugby journalists and the public will decide on who will win the award which will be announced on Friday.

All four Irish players have strong cases, with try-machine Stockdale finishing the top try-scorer in his first Championship. Sexton's drop-goal in Paris was the moment of the tournament, while Earls and Murray were excellent throughout.

2018 Player of the Championship Shortlist: Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Jacob Stockdale, Matteo Minozzi, Guilhem Guirado, Keith Earls

By the numbers

160 - Points Ireland have scored in the tournament, with 82 conceded. Wales' 119 put them second.

44 - The number of points scored by Johnny Sexton in this year's Six Nations.

20 - tries scored by Ireland against 11 conceded.

7 - Jacob Stockdale's record Six Nations-era single-tournament try-scoring mark. Only two men in history have scored more tries in a single edition of the competition, both registering eight scores.

3 - Times Ireland have completed the Grand Slam in their history. The 2018 success adds to the clean sweeps in 2009 and 1948.

2 - The number of Irishmen to have won two Grand Slams, Rory Best and Rob Kearney.

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