Planet Rugby

Keatley reflects on career choices

15th April 2014 07:26

Share:

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."

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
Friday , September 12
Ulster vs Zebre19:35
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys19:35
Edinburgh vs Connacht19:35
Benetton Treviso vs Munster20:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Guinness PRO12 Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Treviso00
2Cardiff Blues00
3Connacht00
4Edinburgh00
5Glasgow Warriors00