Saturday 16 December 2017

McFadden in as Earls forced out

KEITH Earls has been withdrawn from the Ireland team to play Wales in Dublin on Sunday due to a family emergency and is replaced by Fergus McFadden, writes Des Berry.

Just last week, Earls became a first-time dad to a baby girl, Ella Maye, after his partner Edel McGee gave birth.

But the last-minute emergency meant he had to remain in his native Limerick to be with his week-old daughter as he and partner Edel face into a worrying weekend.

“Keith has remained in Limerick for personal reasons. Sadly, his child was taken into hospital and it was decided between Declan and Keith that it would be best for him and his family to stay in Limerick,” said team manager Mick Kearney.

A source close to the family described what happened as a “private family matter” and declined to comment any further. Another Leinster player, David Kearney, has been drafted in as a bench replacement.

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