Leinster and Ireland full-back Rob Kearney has agreed a new two-year contract with the IRFU to continue playing with Leinster until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Rob Kearney made his debut for Leinster in 2005 and has become an integral part of his home province since then, being part of all three of Leinster’s Heineken Cup title wins in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
The County Louth native’s international career has seen him captain Ireland at Under-19 level before winning his first senior cap for Ireland on the left wing against Argentina in 2007 in Buenos Aires.
He became a regular in the Ireland team during the 2008 RBS 6 Nations Championship and was part of the 2009 Grand Slam-winning side as well playing in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “We are delighted that a player of Rob’s calibre will be remaining within the structures of Irish rugby and it is an indication of the efforts that we are making to keep as many of our players at home for the benefit of the provinces and Irish rugby as a whole.”
Rob Kearney commented: “I’m delighted to be continuing my rugby career in Ireland. Leinster Rugby has always been my home and I am very excited to be remaining here to play with a great bunch of players and coaching staff.
“I have been very lucky to have experienced success with that same group over the last number of years and with the great support we have, it made it a very easy decision for me.”
Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt added: “After being named ERC Player of the Year in 2012, Rob has had a few frustrations with injury in the first half of this season but he has added genuine value since returning to the side in early January.
“From the Leinster Academy through to the senior team and on to the international stage with Ireland and then the Lions in South Africa, Rob has shown his tremendous rugby ability and genuine drive to keep progressing so it’s great that he’ll be continuing with Leinster in the years to come.”
ROB KEARNEY –
Date of Birth: March 26, 1986
Height: 1.85m (6ft 1in)
Weight: 95kgs (15st)
Leinster Appearances: 125
Ireland Appearances: 42
Lions Tourist: 2009 (South Africa)
British & Irish Lions Caps: 3 (1 try)
Ireland ‘A’ Caps: 5 (v England (2), USA, New Zealand Maori, Australia)
Ireland ‘A’ Points: 13 (2 tries, 1 drop goal)
Ireland Under-19 Caps: 7 (5 as captain; Also captain v Ireland Schools)
Leinster Under-19 Caps: 1 (v Munster)
Ireland Schools Caps: 4 (Also played v Ireland Under-19s and played in all 7 games on tour to Australia in 2004)
Leinster Schools Caps: 5