Sunday 15 December 2019

Rob Kearney confident misfiring Leinster are still on the right track

Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has made it clear he will open negotiations over a new contract in the near future. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has made it clear he will open negotiations over a new contract in the near future. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

ROB KEARNEY insists Leinster are an improved side this season despite losing two of their first three games.

The Ireland full-back admits the province failed to fire in many of their games last year, but believes Matt O'Connor's reign is set to take off in the weeks to come.

Although he guided his side to the Pro12 title last season, the Australian has had to endure criticism from sections of the Leinster support dissatisfied with the team's style of play.

However, despite Friday's defeat to Connacht and the opening day loss to Glasgow, the 28-year-old is confident that results and performances will get better.

"I'm really encouraged. We are in a good place," Kearney said.

"It's easy to judge from training and games just to see exactly where we are at but we have moved on a little gear from last year but there is no doubt but that the next few games are important for us. We need to get some points on the board.

"Last year it took us a long time to fulfil our potential. If you take away that Northampton away game, we had an ordinary enough season.

"Then we got to the Pro12 final against Glasgow, who were the best team in the league last year, and we played really well and put them to the sword on a day that mattered.

"The standard of the training, the clarity that we now have around our defence which changed a lot last year.

"Guys understand it a little bit more and we are starting to look a little bit sharper in attack at times.

"I'm confident we will get a fair few points over the next few weeks."

Kearney's contract is up at the end of this season and he hopes to begin negotiations with the IRFU on a new deal in the coming weeks.

Irish Independent

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