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Keatley reflects on career choices

15th April 2014 07:26

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ian keatley damian varley munster

Winding road: Ian Keatley

Ian Keatley is only 27, but playing for his third Irish province is set for the biggest game of his career when Munster face Toulon.

Having left the Leinster academy for experience at Connacht, Keatley is now the main man for Munster at fly-half following Ronan O'Gara's retirement.

Looking back on his decisions firstly to leave Leinster and then to move to Limerick, Keatley revealed the motivations behind each move.

"I was working with Eric Elwood and Dan McFarland in the Irish U20s and they asked me whether I'd like to join Connacht on a full contract as against Leinster offering me another year with the academy," Keatley told the Irish Examiner.

" I wanted to have a long rugby career and I thought that going to Connacht would get me the game time I needed at that level, even though I knew myself we wouldn't be winning week in and week out.

"Okay, I wasn't playing with the super star players like Felipe or Brian O'Driscoll, but what you did have was real tough lads prepared to fight for each other.

"They still have that. What people don't realise is Connacht train just as hard as any other team. They're very hard workers and are an up-and-coming team and when I was there I felt I was part of that movement to try to make Connacht a special team and a special place."

Now looking to make more history in Europe with Munster, Keatley believes there is a similar ethic with his current side to the one he was exposed to with Connacht.

"We have put ourselves in a good position to get some silverware. We're in one semi-final, we can't predict what might happen in the next couple of weeks but we have put ourselves in a great position," added Keatley.

"We're not superstars, we work very hard for each other and acknowledge each other for that work ethic and the physicality we put into each game and I think that's going to be the making and breaking of us this year."

  • Connacht Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Friday , November 21
Connacht vs Zebre19:35
Saturday , November 29
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Friday , December 19
Leinster vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , December 27
Ulster vs ConnachtTBC
Friday , January 9
Connacht vs Edinburgh19:35
Wednesday, January 14
Scarlets vs ConnachtTBC
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Saturday , December 6
Connacht vs BayonneTBC
Saturday , December 13
Bayonne vs ConnachtTBC
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  • Connacht Results
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FixtureDetails
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 18
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 ConnachtBenetton Treviso vs Connacht Report
Friday , October 3
Connacht 24 - 24 Cardiff Blues
Friday , September 26
Glasgow 39 - 21 Connacht
Friday , September 19
Connacht 10 - 9 Leinster
Friday , September 12
Edinburgh 13 - 14 Connacht
Saturday , September 6
Connacht 16 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons
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  • Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
3Ulster622
4Munster619
5Connacht618
6Leinster616
7Scarlets614