Rob Kearney

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Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney 2015 RWC.jpg
Kearney playing for Ireland during the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Date of birth (1986-03-26) 26 March 1986 (age 34)
Place of birthDundalk, Ireland
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight94 kg (14.8 st; 207 lb)
SchoolClongowes Wood College
UniversityUniversity College Dublin
Notable relative(s)Dave Kearney (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fullback
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2005– Leinster 216 (238)
Correct as of 12 January 2020
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2009, 2013
Ireland Wolfhounds
British and Irish Lions
Correct as of 19 October 2019

Robert “Rob” Kearney (born 26 March 1986) is an Irish rugby union rugby player who currently plays fullback for Leinster and Ireland. As a youth he also played rugby union for Clongowes Wood College and Gaelic football for Louth in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kearney was born and raised on a dairy farm in the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth. Like many of his peers, he got involved in athletics at an early age. The dominant sport in the area is Gaelic football. As a youth, Kearney played Gaelic for Naomh Mhuire, and in the Cooley Kickhams underage setup, before graduating to the Cooley senior football team at the age of 17 in 2004.[1][2] [3]


Kearney attended Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare for his secondary education. After his Leaving Certificate he moved to University College Dublin, where he studied Arts. He graduated in April 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[4]

Club career[edit]


Kearney attended University College Dublin where he played for the rugby team. In 2005 he helped the U-20s team win the McCorry Cup, beating Dublin University Football Club in the final.[5]


Kearney played for Leinster at both schoolboy and U-19 level before going onto represent them as a senior. He scored a hat-trick of tries on his debut for Leinster in a pre-season friendly win over Parma.

He made his Celtic League debut for Leinster in 2005 in a 22–20 defeat away to the Ospreys. He made 32 appearances in the competition, scoring eight tries, with three penalties during a period in September 2006, when usual place kicker, Felipe Contepomi was injured. Kearney played in his first Heineken Cup game in a 19–22 defeat against Bath at the RDS later that same season. It was the first of 10 appearances scoring ten tries in the process.[6] He was part of Leinster's Heineken Cup winning team in 2009[7] but missed the 2011 final due to injury.[8] On 21 May 2012, the day after Leinster won their second straight Heineken Cup he was announced as the ERC Player of the Year for 2012. During the 2011–12 campaign he started all nine European matches scoring six tries.[9]

International career[edit]


Kearney represented Ireland at schoolboy, U-19 and A level before he was called up to the senior squad for the 2008 Six Nations Championship.[10]

He was first called into the Irish training squad for 2005's autumn internationals and toured with Ireland A in the summer and played in the Churchill Cup. In April 2006, he was named in the Irish squad to tour Argentina in the summer and earned his first cap on 2 June 2006. During the 2008 Six Nations Championship he scored two tries, one against Scotland and one against England.[10] He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship, Triple Crown and Grand Slam.[11] One of the most famous incidents in Kearney's career was a high tackle incident involving Italy's Andrea Masi in the first minute of a game. The incident was taken as an indication of the danger posed by Kearney in attack.[12] In the 2011 Rugby world cup Kearney was selected but was injured for the first game against the United States; however, he played in all the other matches which took Ireland through to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Wales, 22–10.

Kearney was selected in the Ireland squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championship and named in the starting team to play Wales[13] in the opening match. He played in all the other games, which saw Ireland finish 3rd in the table. Kearney was also in the first Irish rugby team in 39 years to beat Australia on Australian soil, in the 2018 summer series. Kearney was named to the Ireland squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, where he started three of Ireland’s five matches, splitting time at fullback with Jordan Larmour.

British and Irish Lions[edit]

Kearney was named in the British and Irish Lions squad for the 2009 tour to South Africa.[14] He made his Lions test debut as a substitute in the 26–21 first test defeat in Durban.[15][16] Due to an injury to Lee Byrne, Kearney was selected again for the second test in Pretoria.[16] He scored the only try for the Lions, however they lost 28–25.[17] He then played in the final test in Johannesburg which the Lions won 28–9.[18]

On 30 April 2013, Kearney was named to his second British and Irish Lions squad.[19]


  • European Player of the Year (1): 2012

Personal life[edit]

Kearney is the second oldest out of the four Kearney children. He has an older brother Richard, a younger brother Dave and, the youngest of the four children, a sister Sara. His brother Dave also plays for Leinster.

In February 2015 he was announced as the newest brand ambassador for Newbridge Silverware .[20]


  1. ^ a b Kearney just taking it all in his stride, 14 February 2009
  2. ^ Win extra special for Cooley Kickhams, 25 May 2009
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Graduation day for Irish international rugby player University College Dublin, 27 April 2010
  5. ^ Senior Squad Archived 9 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine UCD Rugby Football Club
  6. ^ Profiles: Rob Kearney Leinster Rugby
  7. ^ Leicester 16–19 Leinster BBC Sport, 23 May 2009
  8. ^ Kearney gutted to miss out Sky Sports, 17 May 2011
  9. ^ "Kearney wins top European award".
  10. ^ a b "Healy and Sexton in Ireland squad". BBC Sport. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  11. ^ "Wales 15–17 Ireland". BBC Sport. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  12. ^ "Keeping his head in heat of battle". The Irish Times.
  13. ^ "Rugby Union: Ireland Name Starting XV to Face Wales in RBS 6 Nations 2012 Opener". The Global Herald. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  14. ^ "British & Irish Lions tour squad announced". Lions Rugby. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  15. ^ South Africa 26 British and Irish Lions 21: match report The Telegraph, 20 June 2009
  16. ^ a b Lions tour over for injured Lee Byrne Archived 2 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine London Evening Standard, 25 June 2009
  17. ^ South Africa 28–25 Lions BBC Sport, 27 June 2009
  18. ^ South Africa 9–28 Lions BBC Sport, 4 July 2009
  19. ^ "Warburton to lead British and Irish Lions". Archived from the original on 3 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Model moment! Rob Kearney joins Amy Huberman & Aoife Walsh as face of Newbridge". 16 February 2015.

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