Kearney skips past Jannie du Plessis in Dublin on Saturday. Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IRFU secure Leinster's Rob Kearney on new three-year deal

The 28-year-old fullback remains a key player under Joe Schmidt and Matt O’Connor.

FULLBACK ROB KEARNEY has signed a new three-year deal with the IRFU and Leinster, tying him down until 2018.

The 28-year-old has been with home province Leinster for his entire professional career so far, and has resisted any possible temptation to move abroad by agreeing terms on this new deal.

Kearney was in the 15 shirt last weekend for Ireland’s excellent 29-15 victory over South Africa and remains a key player under head coach Joe Schmidt.

For Leinster’s Matt O’Connor, securing the future of Kearney is a major boost, particularly with Johnny Sexton returning next season.

The IRFU have been increasingly proactive in contract negotiations under new Performance Director David Nucifora, who has looked to begin the process of re-contracting players earlier than had been the norm under previous regimes.

Jamie Heaslip and Sean O’Brien both signed new deals last season despite intense interest from French clubs, while ensuring that Sexton will return to Ireland after two seasons with Racing Métro was a major coup for the IRFU.

“I am happy to have signed a new contract that will keep me at Leinster for another three years,” said Kearney of his new deal.

“I made my debut for Leinster almost 10 years ago and it is a great honour be in a position to extend my contract and hopefully play a part in future success at both provincial and national level.”

Rob Kearney Kearney is a leader for O'Connor's Leinster. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Meanwhile, Leinster CEO welcomed the news as important for the province in the coming seasons:

“It is great that Rob has signed a new IRFU contract which keeps him at Leinster up to the end of the 2018 season. Rob is a senior international with a proven pedigree and a key voice within our environment.

“Keeping our stars at Leinster will ensure that we continue to compete for silverware in our domestic competition and in Europe.”

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