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Kearney to stay with Leinster until 2018 ere heady here

Rob Kearney has signed a three-year contract extension, keeping him at Leinster to the summer of 2018.

The decorated 28-year-old Ireland full-back refused to look abroad for greater financial benefit because he believes he can win trophies with his province.

"I made my debut for Leinster almost 10 years ago and it is a great honour be in a position to extend my contract and hopefully play a part in future success at both provincial and national level," he said this morning.

The commitment of the two-time British & Irish Lion (2009 & 2013) and most consistent full-back in Europe over the last decade comes as a sign of the IRFU's clout to retain the best Irish talent.


"Rob is a senior international with a proven pedigree and a key voice within our environment," said Leinster Chief Executive Mick Dawson.

"Keeping our stars at Leinster will ensure that we continue to compete for silverware in our domestic competition and in Europe."

This comes as another boost for Irish rugby, just three days after the tumultuous upset over South Africa and five days before their next outing against Georgia.

It remains to be seen whether Jared Payne will recover from a foot injury to continue his partnership with Robbie Henshaw or whether Gordon D'Arcy will return in midfield.

Hooker Rory Best is also in a race to convince Joe Schmidt he has recovered from a calf injury, while flanker Chris Henry (virus) might have to wait a little longer for his return.

Outside that, Schmidt will surely rotate his squad to allow those on the fringes, like Ian Madigan, to start against the Georgian hardmen.