Keith Earls' Wonderful Perspective On Rugby Shows How Far He's Come

Keith Earls' Wonderful Perspective On Rugby Shows How Far He's Come

I'm enjoying rugby at the moment.

And why wouldn't Keith Earls be? At 30 years old, he's playing the best rugby of his career, and has been arguably Ireland's player of the Six Nations so far.

But while now Earls is a key man in Ireland's Grand Slam push, he knows he too often hasn't been, and is going to enjoy it while it's there. Speaking to the assembled media today, the Munster winger displayed a confidence and calm that wasn't always there earlier in his career.

Earls' talent has never been in doubt, but everything hasn't always gone to plan. His luck with injuries has been awful. Every professional player will miss time, but with Earls, time and time again, he would be gone just as he was rounding into form, or just before a massive game.

But it wasn't always just injuries that were holding him back.

Selected as a Lion at just 21, it could be argued the pressure got to the young man. He performed poorly in his first game and has admitted himself, he didn't deal with it properly. His confidence was rocked, and it didn't fully recover for many years.

Throughout his career, there have been nerves, confidence issues, and even superstitions he has discussed in the past. Speaking to us a couple of weeks ago, Eddie O'Sullivan talked about how this affected him in the past.


He was nervous early in his career, as you say he was quite superstitious. That mental approach to the game didn't help him.

Once he parked all of that, and went out and played a kind of que sera, sera game, just-give-me-the-ball-and-let-me-go kind of game, he has become one of the best wingers in the world.

In the last couple of years, it's clear that Earls has left all of this behind him. He's a different character now, and because of that, a different rugby player. He became the toast of the country with his last ditch tackle in the last minute of the Italy game two weeks ago, but his performance had already been top rate.

The man who spoke to the media today at the Ireland team announcement was not a man worried about his form or his talent. When asked by Newstalk's Oisin Langan about being more relaxed about his rugby, Earls made it very clear where his head is these days.

It’s weird, I can’t help but feel relaxed going into games now. A big thing for me is putting everything into perspective. That’s something I do every day, every half an hour, every minute. When you have kids and you see what’s going on in Syria now, if I need to be grounded or if I’m worried about a game I’ll go back and look at that to see how lucky you are.

A great attitude, and a different perspective. Something that has done wonders for Keith Earls' game. This is the player we've been waiting for for nearly a decade, and there's much more to come.

SEE ALSO: French Rugby Legend Professes His Love Of Hurling

Michael McCarthy

You may also like