Keith Earls speaking to the media yesterday
Keith Earls has gotten the nod to play against Japan this Saturday (8.15am) The Munster winger has not played a minute of rugby since injuring his quad in the final warm up game against Wales at the Aviva. The Limerick man is fully aware however that Andrew Conway's performance against Scotland, in Earls' position, gave the coaches food for thought.
"It doesn’t surprise me the way he (Andrew Conway) played. I am around him quite a bit, he is unbelievably professional. I see how he prepares for games, I see how he looks after himself"
When asked if the performance of others bothered him, Earls admitted it only adds to the strength of the team.
“It didn’t bother me at all because I know how hard he works. I suppose it’s a nice little battle now for the back three. Whatever happens, we will just keep pushing each other. “here is a lot of pressure on after the way the lads played at the weekend.”
Speaking about his knee injury, from that Wales pre-season friendly, Earls admitted it was something he had carried into that game.
“It was something that was bothering me for a week or two leading up into that. Thankfully it wasn’t too serious and thankfully I was on the plane and hopefully looking forward to getting a run out this week."
What of avoiding an upset against Japan?
"I think that happens if you disrespect your opposition and that’s something we don’t do because sport is a funny thing and we’ll prepare for Scotland, Japan… whoever it is, we’ll prepare the same way as everyone. You don’t want to be part of that team that does have a slip up in a World Cup.”