Shane Horgan and Rob Kearney celebrate a Leinster try in 2008. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Staying Put

Kearney dismisses talk of Leinster move as he cheers on the 'Shaggy' torchbearer

The full-back is flattered by Kiwi interest but prefers to focus on Shane Horgan’s leg in the Olympic torch relay through Dublin.

ROB KEARNEY’S RETURN to the fearless performances that made him an outstanding British and Irish Lion in 2009 were always going to lead to an increased glare of media spotlight.

The Leinster full-back deservedly took home the ERC Player of the Year award this season.

He has gone from a blip to a permanent, saucer-sized sphere on the Kiwi rugby radar.

Kearney was forced, at the Irish team’s press conference on Tuesday, to deflect questions on the potential of a move to play club rugby in the Southern Hemisphere.

“I’d like to think I still have a bit of youth on my side,” the 26-year-old replied when asked if he we consider a move in the next couple of years. Kearney added:

I’m not going to be pushed into a decision like that just yet. Obviously there are real attractions to Super Rugby but, as I say, that’s not anywhere near my mind right now.

Running man

Kearney, along with forwards coach Greg Feek and scrum-half Paul Marshall, praised the Ireland Under-20s on their world championships pool win over South Africa.

He was also up to date on former teammate Shane Horgan’s preparations for the Olympic torch relay in Dublin on Wednesday.

Kearney told, “It’s a huge honour for him and I know from speaking to him I know it is something he is really looking forward to.” Kearney added:

I think it is fantastic that Ireland are having an involvement in the Olympics and it is really nice to see one of our own teammates and friends have a part to play in that.

Asked weather Horgan would chance a chip and chase with the torch, Kearney remarked, “I imagine he’ll play if safe.”

Horgan, known as Shaggy during his playing days, may leave the antics to fellow torchbearers Jedward but Kearney has reached the top of the world game by taking risks and making it look good.

* You can follow all the latest news, comments and goings on from the Irish camp by following @patmccarry on Twitter and by regularly checking in with

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