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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Rob Kearney: Former Ireland full-back says Barbarians outing will be his ‘last game of rugby’

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Kearney and Sexton
Rob Kearney (right) poses with the European Champions Cup trophy alongside former Ireland and Leinster team-mate Johnny Sexton (left) in 2018

Former Ireland and Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has confirmed he will retire after lining up for the Barbarians on Saturday.

Ireland’s most decorated player won 95 caps for his country and spent 15 years at Leinster, but is now preparing to end his trophy-laden career.

Louth-born Kearney, 35, also had a spell with Australian side Western Force, leaving the club in the summer.

The Barbarians face Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday.

Confirming his retirement on Twitter, Kearney said: “It’s always been a dream to play for the @Barbarian_FC and what a historic team to play your last game of rugby with, grateful for the opportunity!”

Kearney’s glittering rugby career included four Six Nations titles, two of which were Grand Slam-winning campaigns, while he won four European Cups and six league titles with Leinster, for whom he made 219 appearances.

He also toured with the British and Irish Lions twice, in 2009 and 2013.

Kearney was a regular for Ireland under Declan Kidney and Joe Schmidt, featuring in the Grand Slam-winning teams of 2009 and 2018 along with the historic victories over New Zealand in 2016 and 2018.

Earlier this year, Kearney returned to GAA club action with Louth club Cooley Kickhams following his departure from Western Force after a 16-year break from Gaelic games.





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