Ulster Rugby vs Munster




Limerick flyer Keith Earls returned to Munster in November after Ireland’s World Cup campaign, where he started in all representative games. Playing on the wing and in the centre the 28-year-old was in scintillating form and went on to become Ireland’s leading World Cup try scorer with eight tries between 2011 and 2015. A Munster Rugby academy graduate, Earls is playing in his 10th season with the province and has made 116 appearances since making his debut against Ospreys in April 2007. The utility back went on to make his European debut against Montauban in October 2008 in Thomond Park. A former Ireland Schools and Ireland U20s Grand Slam winner, he made his Ireland debut, and scored a try, against Canada in Thomond Park in November 2008. Later that season he went on to win a league medal with Munster, before joining the Lions tour to South Africa as the youngest travelling member at 21 years of age, in 2009. Earls was part of the Munster team that historically beat Australia 15–6 in November 2010 in Thomond Park and he also helped Munster to victory in the 2011 league final, scoring a try against Leinster. Side-lined for 21 months, Sherry returned to Munster action after an extended period of rehabilitation and recovery due to injuries that ruled him out until the start of season 2015/16. The hooker has made 78 appearance for the province and this season has played in seven games, scoring three tries. The 27-year-old made his debut against Connacht in December 2009 as an academy player and after two years in the academy programme secured a senior contract at the start of the 2011/12 season. He made his European Cup debut in January 2011 against Toulon at Stade Mayol and was drafted into the Ireland World Cup squad in 2011 as an injury call up and went on to make his debut against USA on the summer tour of 2013. South African back-row CJ Stander joined Munster at the start of the 2013/14 season. With 70 caps to-date he has been involved in the first ten rounds of the season, scoring four tries. In the absence of squad captain Peter O’Mahony the 25-year-old captained Munster for the first time in the PRO12 in September, leading the side out against Treviso in Irish Independent Park where he picked up his first man of the match award of the season. Last season’s impressive run with the province saw him deservedly claim seven man of the match awards and score nine tries in 26 appearances. He went on to become the first ever overseas player to be awarded Munster Rugby Player of the Year at the annual awards in May 2015.



* Player stats pre EPCR round 4

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