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Nucifora expresses delight as IRFU confirm Kearney's contract extension

The 33-year-old Leinster fullback will continue to play his rugby at home until the summer of 2020 at least.

Ireland and Leinster fullback Rob Kearney.
Ireland and Leinster fullback Rob Kearney.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THE IRFU HAVE this morning issued confirmation that Rob Kearney has penned a deal that will extend his contract until the end of the 2019-20 season.

The development puts an end to uncertainty over Kearney’s future, after the Leinster and Ireland fullback had been linked with a move to a French club after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“Rob has contributed a huge amount to Irish Rugby and has performed at a high level again this year for Ireland and Leinster,” said IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora. “We are delighted that he will continue his career in Ireland in what will be his 15th season as a senior pro.”

While earning 90 caps for Ireland, Kearney has won four Six Nations titles (including two Grand Slams). With Leinster, the 33-year-old has won four European Cups. In his 209th appearance, he secured his fifth Celtic League/Pro Rugby title on Saturday at Celtic Park. The victory over Glasgow Warriors marked his 209th appearance for the province.

“I am feeling pretty good about where I am physically and mentally after a long season which has contained a few lows but also some massive highs,” Kearney said.

“There are goals I still want to achieve with both Leinster and Ireland next season, but I will enjoy a couple of weeks off now before getting stuck into what will be a hugely exciting season for Irish Rugby.”

In an interview last night on Off The Ball, the Louth native admitted that the delay in reaching an agreement with the IRFU over a new deal was partly due to his preference for his contract to be extended by two years instead of one. 

Kearney will look to play in his third World Cup when Ireland begin their campaign in Japan in September.

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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