“He’s The Hardest Worker In The Team” – Keith Earls Absolutely Delighted For In-Form Irish Teammate

Rivals.

Ireland winger Keith Earls holds absolutely no grudge against his provincial teammate Andrew Conway who looks set to keep him out of the starting line-up again this weekend following a stunning performance against Wales.

Earls has been a mainstay on Ireland’s right-wing for a number of years with Conway restricted to mostly sub appearances, but it seems things have flipped under Andy Farrell with Conway now his preferred choice and Earls coming off the bench as cover for a number of positions across the backline.

Earls said Conway is the “hardest worker in the team right now” and reckons his performance against Wales is the best he has ever seen him play.

“Yeah, yeah it’s unbelievable and it has been the last couple of years. It just shows the quality. A couple of injuries here and there and the next fella is in and they’re the same if not higher,” Earls said.

“It’s great for us and I think we’re all pushing each other really hard.

“I see how hard Andrew works every day; he’s the hardest worker in the team, both mentally and physically on the field.

But Earls won’t be just sitting back and admiring his provincial teammate in the weeks and months to come, the Limerick man said he will continue to back himself and look over Conway’s shoulder with a few to overtaking him. It’s an attitude that will no doubt make both of them better players for both club and country,

“It’s up to me, I’ve always said I have to back myself; I don’t leave emotions get in the way. You just have to back yourself to get back in there,” Earls said.

“There’s no begrudging against Andrew or anyone like that, we’re all on the same team but in the back of my mind – I’m going to be backing myself now that I’m fit.

“He’s playing the best rugby I’ve seen him play; the weekend [against Wales] was the best game I’ve ever seen him play. Anything he touched, something was happening, which is great to see.

“But I’d like to be looking over his back as well! As I was the last couple of years.”

Earls added that it’s brilliant to have increased competition in the squad, noting that head coach Andy Farrell generally picks his team on form, not reputation.

“It’s brilliant [to have the competition in the squad],” Earls added.

“No one can slack off. People might have thought if I wasn’t injured I could have been starting but under Andy [Farrell] it’s completely different.

“He had a couple of selection that people might have been surprised with but we were starting from zero again and Andrew had a great run out against Scotland and again last week.