Sport International Rugby

Sunday 21 January 2018

IRFU must show that they have learned from mistakes - Rob Kearney

Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Rob Kearney has urged the IRFU to learn from past mistakes and waste no time before tying their players down to long-term contracts.

With Jonathan Sexton set for a return to Leinster next season after two years in France with Racing Metro, Kearney is eager for the IRFU to ensure that their players remain in Ireland.

"From an IRFU perspective, why wait four or five months for French clubs to start sniffing around and then making it a bone of contention for players? Just get them done early. Get everyone signed up," the Lions full-back said.

"I think everyone realises that we all want our homegrown and our best international players to stay. The key for the IRFU is to make sure that non-financial incentives outweigh the other couple of hundred grand bonuses on the other side."

Kearney's contract expires in 13 months but he has made it clear that he will open negotiations in the near future.

"The sooner, the better these things are done. It would seem lessons have probably been learned, depending on what happens in that situation (Sexton) over the next few weeks or months," he added.

Meanwhile, after Leinster confirmed that they had made an offer to Sexton, Joe Schmidt admitted that he has been in direct contact with the Racing Metro out-half.

"I can confirm that I've spoken to Johnny. He's pretty positive about heading back in this direction and if that comes to fruition over the next week or so, I think it would a great thing for us," the Ireland head coach said.

Irish Independent

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