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Earls Overhauls Hickie To Set New Mark For Most Tries In A Season

Earls Overhauls Hickie To Set New Mark For Most Tries In A Season

Keith Earls set a new record in Shizuoka last Saturday for the most tries scored by an Ireland player in an international season. His nine-try tally – from last November’s win over Canada through to the summer tour – eclipsed Denis Hickie’s previous best of eight.

However, Denis Hickie does still hold the upper hand in terms of tries scored in a calendar year. He had a memorable 2003, running in 9 tries in 11 starts. Brian O’Driscoll (2000 and 2002), Tommy Bowe (2012) and Keith Earls (2017) set yearly bests of seven tries each.

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Earls (26 tries) is closing in on Hickie (29) on Ireland’s list of record try scorers. Fellow winger Bowe remains second on 30 with 2009 Grand Slam-winning captain O’Driscoll still well out in front on 46.

As modest as ever, when informed of his new record for the highest amount of tries in a season, the Moyross man said: “Yeah, it’s good. But it’s more important that we got the win here with a young team. The Japanese, they’re coming up, they’ve got some unbelievable players and they’re going to be strong in the future.

“I don’t take the individual stuff as counting. It’s about winning with this group of young lads which is a better feeling more than (individual) records.”



Keith Earls (2016/17) – 9 tries/9 starts (1 v Canada, 1 v Australia, 1 v Scotland, 2 v Italy, 2 v USA, 2 v Japan)


Denis Hickie (2003/04) – 8 tries/6 starts (4 v Italy, 1 v Scotland, 2 v Romania, 1 v Namibia)


Keith Wood (1999/00) – 7 tries/12 starts/1 rep (1 v Argentina, 4 v USA, 1 v Scotland, 1 v Italy)

Brian O’Driscoll (2003/04) – 7 tries/14 starts (1 v Australia, 2 v France, 2 v Wales, 1 v Italy, 1 v South Africa)

Tommy Bowe (2011/12) – 7 tries/9 starts (2 v USA, 1 v Wales, 2 v Italy, 2 v France)


Keith Crossan (1986/87) – 6 tries/9 starts (3 v Romania, 1 v England, 2 v Canada)

Brian O’Driscoll (1999/00) – 6 tries/10 starts (1 v USA, 1 v Scotland, 1 v Italy, 3 v France)

Keith Earls (2011/12) – 6 tries/14 starts (2 v Russia, 2 v Italy, 1 v Wales, 1 v Italy)