AFTER MONTHS OF seemingly interminable contract negotiations, Leinster and Ireland full-back Rob Kearney has finally put pen to paper on a new two-year contract.
Earlier this afternoon, the IRFU issued a statement announcing that they had agreed terms with the 24-year-old talent and that he had committed to stay at Leinster until the end of the 2013 season.
Kearney will undoubtedly be delighted that the long-running issue has been resolved and that he will be able to continue his development at Leinster.
Over the past weeks, he had been very public in his committment to the province, telling Newstalk last month that “there’s no doubt in my mind where I want to play my rugby, it’s always been here”.
Leinster are really moving up the ranks at the moment, it’s a brilliant place to play. It’s a no-brainer for me and hopefully we can reach an agreement.
Despite his desire to ink a new deal, the young full-back was quite clearly frustrated at the pace with which his contract discussions were progressing, a fact which would not have been helped by the fact that team-mates Jamie Heaslip, Jonny Sexton and Brian O’Driscoll were all able to resolve their own negotiations.
Talks on Kearney’s deal have been ongoing since October as the 24-year-old’s current contract with the IRFU was set to expire in June.
Although Kearney commented last month that negotiations were “moving really slowly and we’re quite far off reaching an agreement,” Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson reassured fans that they were “pushing hard to get something agreed ” with the provincial star.
Kearney has not been in action since picking up a serious knee injury during Ireland’s 38-18 defeat to New Zealand in November’s Autumn Series.