Knee injury rules Ireland's Earls out of Six Nations

The Canadian Press
1/24/2014 11:46:43 AM
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DUBLIN, Ireland -- Ireland winger Keith Earls will miss the entire Six Nations after scans confirmed his left knee injury was serious and he will be sidelined for up to eight weeks.

Earls sustained medial ligament damage in the knee and limped off in the first half of Munster's 38-6 win over Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup on Sunday.

He signed a two-year contract extension with Ireland only this week, and was due to join the team on Sunday.

The injury was the latest blow for the 39-cap winger who hasn't played for Ireland since last year's Six Nations.

Another knee complaint, patella tendinitis, ruled him out of the autumn internationals. He regained fitness and form until bad luck struck again.

Dave Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald and Andrew Trimble will compete for the wing spots in the Six Nations home opener against Scotland on Feb. 1.

Meanwhile, No. 8 and former captain Jamie Heaslip signed a new three-year contract extension with Ireland on Thursday.

In turning down overtures from Toulon, Heaslip joined Earls, captain Paul O'Connell, Sean O'Brien and Rory Best in rejecting moves to France.

Heaslip, a member of the British and Irish Lions' last two tours, has 60 caps since 2006.

Keith Earls (Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)


(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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