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Rob Kearney makes first Western Force appearance ahead of new Super Rugby AU season

Irish rugby’s most decorated player signed for the Force in September and made to move to Australia just after Christmas.

Rob Kearney came on as a late replacement for the Western Force.
Rob Kearney came on as a late replacement for the Western Force.
Image: PA

ROB KEARNEY GOT his first run-out with the Western Force earlier today as his new team were beaten 29-28 by the ACT Brumbies. 

Irish rugby’s most decorated player signed for the Force in September and made the move to Australia just after Christmas. Australia’s strict quarantine rules meant he had to quarantine for two weeks before being cleared to join the squad for training.

Today’s trial match against reigning champions the Brumbies was his first taste of action in the Force jersey, ahead of the new Super Rugby AU season.

Kearney was introduced in the 70th minute of the 90-minute contest, with the Force 19-14 up, where he linked-up with fellow Cooley Peninsula man, scrum-half Michael McDonald. McDonald, 21, rejoined the club from the Waratahs last November.

The former Leinster fullback contested well in the air but saw very little of the ball during his cameo, and couldn’t get across to prevent Brumbies’ Issak Fines touching down in the corner as the game entered the final five minutes. The Brumbies took the lead shortly after when Connal McInerney supplied the finishing touch to a driving maul.

The Force moved back into the lead with a Grason Makara try, assisted and converted by Argentinian flyhalf Domingo Miotti.

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However an 87th-minute Lachlan Lonergan penalty snatched the win for the Brumbies.

The two sides meet again on February 19 in their Super Rugby AU season opener in Perth. 

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