Kearney to stay at Leinster after extending deal

Rob Kearney has agreed a “nine-month extension” to his IRFU contract and will play with Leinster next season.

The Grand Slam-winning star’s existing agreement expires after the Rugby World Cup and he was not included in a list of new player contracts issued by Leinster last week leading to speculation he was set for a move to France next season.

However, the 33-year-old told Off the Ball last night that he will remain with Leinster for the forseeable future.

“I get a nine-month extension — then we will take it from there after that,” said Kearney of his deal with the province.

When quizzed on the negotiations with IRFU performance director David Nucifora about their respective positions Kearney replied: “It’s quite simplistic. It is probably exactly as you would imagine it would go, with dialogue back and forth. 

I suppose I have been very lucky that I can be a bit factual about [making my case for a contract], but part of the sticking point was nine months, versus a two-year contract, so that is where a little bit of a delay was.

The Louth native insisted that the financial package on the table was not the overriding issue in terms of reaching his decision.

“[Money] wasn’t the most important thing for me this time round. There was playing in finals, your best friends,” said Kearney.

Meanwhile, Ireland are one of nine different nations represented in the Barbarians squad selected by head coach Pat Lam for Sunday’s encounter with an England XV at Twickenham (3.30pm).

Connacht and Ireland’s Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham and Niyi Adeolokun have been included for the Quilter Cup match, which is part of an exciting double-header with the Barbarians women taking on the Red Roses at 12.45pm. 

Ireland’s Claire Molloy, Sene Naoupu and Hannah Casey are part of the women’s squad.

BARBARIANS SQUAD:

Forwards:

Joe Marler (Harlequins & England), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), John Afoa (Bristol Bears & New Zealand), Finlay Bealham (Connacht & Ireland), David Heffernan (Connacht & Ireland), Richard Hibbard (Dragons & Wales), James Horwill (Harlequins & Australia), Chris Vui (Bristol Bears & Samoa), Steven Luatua (Bristol Bears & New Zealand), Facundo Isa (Toulon & Argentina), Liam Messam (Toulon & New Zealand), Viliame Mata (Edinburgh & Fiji), Francois Louw (Bath & South Africa).

Backs:

Rhys Webb (Toulon & Wales), Rhodri Williams (Dragons & Wales), Colin Slade (Pau & New Zealand), Brock James (Bordeaux Begles), Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Malakai Fekitoa (Toulon & New Zealand), Filipo Nakosi (Toulon), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Northampton Saints & Australia), Niyi Adeolokun (Connacht & Ireland), Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears & New Zealand).

ENGLAND SQUAD:

Forwards:

Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Dunn (Bath), Tom Ellis (Bath), Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints), Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers), Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby), Tommy Taylor (Wasps);

Backs:

Josh Bassett (Wasps), Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons), Ben Loader (London Irish), Joe Marchant (Harlequins) , Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears), Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben White (Leicester Tigers), Johnny Williams (Newcastle Falcons).

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