Birth of daughter puts rugby in perspective for Munster's Ian Keatley

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Birth of daughter puts rugby in perspective for Munster's Ian Keatley

Ian Keatley celebrates Munster's Champions Cup win over Racing 92 at Thomond Park on Saturday

MUNSTER out-half Ian Keatley says he is in a good place right now, the birth of his daughter Beth four weeks ago a major contributing factor.

Keatley controlled Saturday night’s Champions Cup Pool 4 arm wrestle with Racing 92 to telling effect, the game ending in a 14-7 win for the home side

The 30-year-old, who missed a favourable penalty opportunity in the second half which would have fired Munster into a 10-0 lead, nailed a cracking conversion for Andrew Conway’s try from close to the right touchline with the wind howling.

Keatley said a combination of the birth of his daughter and the shock death of Anthony Foley 12 months ago had helped bring a greater sense of perspective to him.

Keatley said: "Yes, I am just enjoying myself. We just had a baby girl there four weeks ago, it just puts a lot of things into perspective and even with Anthony (Foley) passing away last year, you are kinda like, rugby is so important – don't get me wrong – but then sometimes you just have to take yourself away from it, and you kinda go, what is more important in life?

"Don't get me wrong, when a player makes mistakes, they don't need someone else telling them they did something wrong. They know it themselves. This is our job.

"If you (journalists) do a bad article or whatever, you know yourself you have done a bad article, you don't need other people telling you that! Not that ye do any bad articles!

(With the missed penalty), It was a simple lack of concentration which was a bit frustrating, but I bounced back after it, nailing the next conversion after that.

”That's all you can do sometimes. I think I have learned that from the past, to put the bad stuff behind and just carry on.”

Keatley said Saturday night’s game at Thomond Park would give new head coach Johann van Graan, who was more than an interested spectator at the game, a taste of what to expect on European nights at the famed rugby venue.

Keatley said: "We gave him a little flavour of what it is like and we were talking to him last night and there were a few key words that were brought forward to him about what Munster was like.

“He said that was the reason that really drew him here to Munster and obviously it is a good opportunity for him. But yes it is good to put in a good first performance for him to watch us live.

”We haven’t had that much interaction with him yet, but while he has signed a three-year contract he has already said he is thinking well past the three years.

”His whole family is moving over and he says he’s committed to actually moving here. That is the sign of a man who is going to commit fully to this club which is great.”