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Monday 22 July 2019

Carlingford salutes its hero

Kearney still on cloud nine after historic victory in Cardiff seals perfect record

Lucky Stephen Arrowsmith gets his Leinster jersey signed by Robert Kearney during a visit to Dundalk Rugby Club last year.
Lucky Stephen Arrowsmith gets his Leinster jersey signed by Robert Kearney during a visit to Dundalk Rugby Club last year.

John Savage

Still trying to come to terms with the enormity of Ireland's achievement in Cardiff on Saturday night, Rob Kearney perfectly summed up the mood of the nation when he spoke to The Argus on Monday afternoon.

'I'm still on cloud-nine and I don't think I'll be coming down for a long time,' the Carlingford native exclaimed after celebrations in Wales and then back in Dublin, where an estimated 15,000 adoring supporters lined the streets to greet their Grand Slam heroes.

The highs and lows those same fans went through for two momentous hours on Saturday evening must have been nothing compared to what Rob and his teammates experienced in the heat of battle in the Millennium Stadium, but the end result made it all worthwhile for the Ireland and Leinster star.

'It's a feeling I've never experienced before - nothing even close - and I'm just happy to be part of it all.

' The homecoming was just unbelievable. It was fantastic to be able to spend time like that with the Irish people on an occasion like this.'

Rob, who turns 23 this week, was also overjoyed to be able to share the experience with his family, his mum and dad, David and Siobhan, and his brothers, David and Richard.

'They were over for the game; they wouldn't have missed it for the world,' he continued. 'I'm hoping to get back up home over the next few weeks - it's all a bit hectic at the minute though.'

Rob is beginning to realise that clinching a Grand Slam will not only go down as an enormous milestone in Irish sport, but for him personally, it represents a career high that will be hard to top over the coming years.

'The Grand Slam is the pinnacle, it's what you dream about growing up, but I don't think we've seen the best of this team yet.

'We're all a bit battered and bruised at the minute so we won't be training for a few days.

'But let's just hope it's not another 61 years before we do it again,' he added.

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