Keith Earls provides hilarious back story to that World Cup bike picture

“It was like being with my five-year-old daughter!”

After hanging up his boots and retiring as a Munster and Ireland player, Keith Earls made his first significant media appearance on Friday.

One of the featured guests on The Late Late Show, the native of Limerick—who sang his rugby swan song during the World Cup—spoke about how he hoped Ireland inspired a few people both before and during the competition.

Ireland entered their World Cup quarterfinal matchup against New Zealand having won 18 straight Test matches, including the 2023 Six Nations Grand Slam and a series victory over the All Blacks in 2022. But in the end, Ireland lost 28–24 and squandered the opportunity to advance farther than any team from these shores had ever managed.

“To inspire a nation by bringing a cup home to get an open top bus down O’Connell Street in Dublin was our motto for three years,” Earls told broadcaster Patrick Kielty.

“In the end, as any of the boys will tell you, it’s harsh, but we failed, and we realize that despite our failure, we did inspire the country,” he continued.

“As Irish teams in the past, we would have been afraid to kind of express it, but we honestly, truly believed it this time. We wanted to go out and win it. It wasn’t cockiness from us. We had all the necessary components, but that’s sport; even a little bit of bad behavior against a squad like New Zealand will get back at you.”

Earls, who ended his career as Ireland’s second-highest try scorer ever, also talked about a wonderful, go viral photo he took during the World Cup of him riding a bike in Tours on the back of a man wearing Crocs.

Keith Earls on that brilliant bike picture

Keith Earls revealed on his Late Late Show appearance that the photo of him snatching a lift off Peter O’Mahony was typical of the team while they were at their World Cup headquarters in Tours, France.

“I’m not sure whether we have enough time to describe it, but basically, Dave Kilcoyne, Peter O’Mahony, and I had access to bikes at our accommodation in Tours.

“The three of us would go down and attempt to fix all of the world’s problems during our free afternoons on Wednesday and Thursday. We essentially served as Dave Kilcoyne’s therapists. One day, Finlay Bealham texted us while we were out and about, saying he was off getting his cornrows done for the game.

When we first met him, he said, “I can’t cycle; I’ve never told anyone this,” to which I replied, “No, I’m just a really nervous cycler.” We’re heading to a restaurant, so hurry up.

“I had to hop off the bike for my own safety while I was riding. It seemed like I was with my kid, who is five years old! He was stumbling about and screaming at parked automobiles. I decided to go with Peter O’Mahony and be much safer, so I started following the Sat Nav’s instructions.

“The picture went viral, which is how we found out there were Irish people in the area. Finlay, though, can be heard yelling in the distance, “Help, why are there cars?”

In the Stade de France dressing room following the Ireland coach’s homage to him, departing captain Johnny Sexton, and team manager Mick Kearney, Keith Earls described himself as “an emotional wreck” following the team’s quarterfinal loss to New Zealand.

“It was just gone in the space of 80 minutes. It was quite emotional… there were a wee bit of tears from some macho men.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button