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Kearney: New deal 'an easy decision'

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16/1/13***NO REPRO FEE***Dublin GAA Captain Bryan Cullen, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney TD and Ireland Rugby star Rob Kearney pictured at the National Dairy Council's 'Bring on the Pros' winners day where Kanturk RFC from Cork were trained by Rob Kearney and The girls GAA team from Scoil Mhuire gan Smal in Graignamanagh in Kilkenny were trained by Bryan Cullen at Old Belvedere RFC in Donnybrook today Pic:Marc O'Sullivan

16/1/13***NO REPRO FEE***Dublin GAA Captain Bryan Cullen, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney TD and Ireland Rugby star Rob Kearney pictured at the National Dairy Council's 'Bring on the Pros' winners day where Kanturk RFC from Cork were trained by Rob Kearney and The girls GAA team from Scoil Mhuire gan Smal in Graignamanagh in Kilkenny were trained by Bryan Cullen at Old Belvedere RFC in Donnybrook today Pic:Marc O'Sullivan

16/1/13***NO REPRO FEE***Dublin GAA Captain Bryan Cullen, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney TD and Ireland Rugby star Rob Kearney pictured at the National Dairy Council's 'Bring on the Pros' winners day where Kanturk RFC from Cork were trained by Rob Kearney and The girls GAA team from Scoil Mhuire gan Smal in Graignamanagh in Kilkenny were trained by Bryan Cullen at Old Belvedere RFC in Donnybrook today Pic:Marc O'Sullivan

Rob Kearney's contract negotiations with the IRFU took just two weeks to complete.

The Leinster full-back will stay at the club for another two years, at least, in what he described as "a very easy decision for me".

Sometimes there can be a communion of minds between Union and player in a process that tends to involve an initial offer, a counter offer and agreement when it works out as smoothly as this one.

Ultimately, Kearney (pictured) felt that he had everything he needed at home, the right lifestyle, the right club, the right facilities, the right coach.

"Leinster Rugby has always been my home and I am very excited to be remaining here to play with a great bunch of players and coaching staff," said Kearney.

"I have been very lucky to have experienced success with that same group over the last number of years and with the great support we have, it made it a very easy decision for me."

 

Rushed

There is a feeling that the IRFU rushed to announce the conclusion of the deal because of the ongoing speculation about Kearney. They wanted it put to bed quickly, quietly.

It does highlight, once again, the incongruous positioning of contract negotiations, right smack bang in the middle of the Six Nations, supposedly the pinnacle of the international season.

This comes as a timely boost for Leinster coach Joe Schmidt, who committed to one more year at Leinster only to see Jonathan Sexton fly the nest.

"After being named ERC player of the year in 2012, Rob has had a few frustrations with injury in the first half of this season but he has added genuine value since returning to the side in early January," said Schmidt.

"From the Leinster Academy through to the senior team and on to the international stage with Ireland and then the Lions in South Africa, Rob has shown his tremendous rugby ability and genuine drive to keep progressing.

"It's great that he'll be continuing with Leinster in the years to come."


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