Keith Earls has ‘realistic’ chance of being fit for Racing - Van Graan

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Keith Earls has ‘realistic’ chance of being fit for Racing’

Munster are off to Bordeaux for the Champions Cup semi final on Sunday

MUNSTER head coach Johann van Graan believes Keith Earls has a ‘realistic’ chance of being fit for selection for Sunday’s glamour Champions Cup semi-final clash with Racing 92 in Bordeaux.

Munster will appear in a tournament record 13th European Cup semi-final when tackling Racing 92 at the Stade Chaban Delmas on Sunday, 3.15pm Irish time.

Munster have won just two of their seven previous away semi-finals.

The availability of the in-form Earls, who injured his knee playing for Ireland in the Grand Slam clinching clash with England on St Patrick’s Day, would be a significant boost to Munster.

Van Graan said it is possible the flying Limerick winger will be available.

Asked how realistic it is that Earls would be available for the game in Bordeaux, Van Graan said: “I think it’s realistic. Obviously he hasn’t trained. He’ll be on the field with the team Wednesday, and Thursday, and we’ll make a call after that.

“I really hope that he’s going to be good. I think that he’s been in fantastic form. He wants to be right but at the end of the day we’ll make a good decision putting the player first.

”And if he’s 100 per cent ready to go, we’ll put him on the field.”

Van Graan said Munster would make a call on the fitness of both back-row Jack O’Donoghue, ankle injury, and prop James Cronin, stinger/shoulder injury, will be made on Thursday.

Van Graan believes the two weeks Munster spent in South Africa was very beneficial.

“Firstly, building relationships. Teams don't get to tour that much. We went to some fantastic places in South Africa and the people were really good to the team.

“We also used our time smartly. We trained hard.”

The Limerick Leader's coverage of this weekend's Champions Cup semi final is brought to you by Compu B - proud sponsor of Munster Rugby’s Video Analysis Suite