Keith Earls reveals hilarious story behind World Cup bike photo with Peter O’Mahony
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Former Munster and Ireland winger Keith Earls was a guest on the Late Late Show on Friday night and was asked about the infamous photo of him and Peter O’Mahony on a bike in France during the Rugby World Cup.
Earls called time on his illustrious career with Munster and Ireland, having won the United Rugby Championship in his final season with his native province, and reached 100 caps for his country in the Summer Nations Series against England.
The photo of Earls sitting on the back of a bike with O’Mahony cycling went instantly viral during rugby’s showpiece event and the story behind it is even better.
Earls revealed that he was initially on the back of a bike with loosehead prop Finlay Bealham but decided to get off as the Connacht forward’s cycling skills weren’t the best!
“Yeah, basically where we were staying in Tours, we had access to bikes and myself, Peter O’Mahony, and Dave Kilcoyne every Wednesday after training, and Thursday we would go down and try and solve the world’s problems,” Earls said with a chuckle.
“It was basically me and Pete being a therapist for Dave Kilcoyne really, but so yeah, we cycled everywhere around town, but we couldn’t understand why Finlay Bealham kept getting Ubers around the place.
“So we were downtown one day, and he was off getting his cornrows done for the game, and we bumped into him walking, and we were like, where’s your bike?
“He was like ‘I’ve never told anyone this, but I can’t cycle’ and we were like ‘What are you on about?’ He was like no, I’m just a really nervous cycler, and I was like get on the bike. I’m going to jump on the back. We’re going to a restaurant to get something to eat.
“I was on the bike, and I swear I had to jump off for my own safety, it was like getting a carry off my 5-year-old daughter; he was screeching at parked cars, and he was wobbling all over the place.
“So I jumped on with Peter O’Mahony, it’s much safer, and I was doing the satnav, and so we went down the road to the restaurant.
“That’s how we knew there was Irish in town, that went viral, but it was hilarious like you could hear Finlay in the background roaring and shouting help, please! It was a good story.”