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Earls: I'm happy to play anywhere
29 Jan 2015 22:10
Keith Earls has refused to interpret his selection at outside-centre for Ireland Wolfhounds' clash with England Saxons on Friday (Live on RTÉ 2, 1930) as any kind of RBS 6 Nations hint.
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Sean O'Brien is back in Ireland colours on Friday after 14 months of shoulder trouble, but even the Leinster flanker's injury ordeal pales slightly next to Earls' record.
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The 39-cap Munster back has battled a string of knee and groin injuries since his last Test cap, in Ireland's 22-15 Six Nations defeat to Italy in March 2013.
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Luke Fitzgerald's selection on the Wolfhounds' wing suggests boss Joe Schmidt could favour Earls at 13 for Ireland's Six Nations opener in Rome on 7 February, with Jared Payne also in contention.
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Earls himself was simply relieved to complete a full week of Ireland training unscathed.
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"I've been in here a few times but haven't lasted the week with injuries and what-not," said Earls.
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"I'm just happy to be injury-free at the moment. It's been the bones of two years, so I'm very excited.
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"It's great to get through the week and put my hand up for selection - I don't care what position it is in.
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"I think going by the way Joe [Schmidt] has worked the last year, he picks his squad and anyone can come in at any stage.
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"Ian Madigan didn't play the first few games last year but he came in and was involved in the last game against France, so I don't know what will happen really to be honest.
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"We're blessed with a lot of backs who can play in multiple positions, so to go out and beat England Saxons, that's all we're worrying about."
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