Rob Kearney joins Western Force on one-year deal

The full-back will join the Perth-based team for pre-season later this year
Rob Kearney joins Western Force on one-year deal

Rob Kearney. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Rob Kearney has joined Australian rugby side Western Force on a one-year deal.

The full-back will join the Perth-based team for pre-season later this year as they look to build upon their return to Super Rugby after two years outside the top tier.

“I am delighted to be joining the Western Force for their upcoming season and excited to play with such an ambitious club who are looking to improve on this year’s campaign,” Kearney told the club's website.

“I hope to add value both on and off the field that complements the high ambition of the club.

“I’m particularly excited to immerse myself in a new performance environment and to play both with and against some of the best players and teams in the southern hemisphere.

“I look forward to moving to Western Australia to begin building relationships with my new teammates and coaches alike and to meet the ever-growing Western Force fan base which also includes a strong Irish contingent.”

The Force's involvement in the Australian-only Super Rugby tournament this year, held due to coronavirus restrictions, saw them lose all eight games.

Head of rugby Matt Hodgson says recruiting Kearney shows their potential to attract top-level talent, having also signed Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani and Kyle Godwin.

“Rob is a fantastic signing, but more than that he is a great person who will be able to bring a lot to WA rugby,” said Hodgson.

“He is a player of the highest calibre that brings a wealth of experience and quality to the side.

“He also brings a winning mentality, having experienced so much success for his country and Leinster. We can’t wait for the Sea of Blue and the sizeable Irish community within WA to see him pull on the Force jersey next season.”

The 34-year-old's time with Leinster ended after the province's loss to Saracens earlier this month. His final game of a 219-cap, 15-year career in blue coming against Ulster in August, two weeks before he lifted the PRO14 trophy with his fellow departee Fergus McFadden on behalf of the squad.

In all, he lifted four European Cups, six PRO14s, and the Challenge Cup with Leinster, as well as being named European Player of the Year in 2012. 

He enjoyed a similarly decorated Ireland career, winning two Grand Slams, four Six Nations titles, and playing in three World Cups in his 95 caps.

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