Leinster rugby veteran Dave Kearney and Connacht's Adam Byrne have both been linked with moves to the US to play for Major League Rugby's newest franchise the Chicago Hounds.
The duo were both Leinster teammates until Byrne's move out West last season. With Kearney now 33 and Byrne set to depart Connacht this summer it looks like the pair could be set for a reunion in the Windy City.
The move originally reported by Murray Kinsella of the 42.ie would see Dave Kearney's 15-year career at Leinster come to an end. During that time, the Louth winger enjoyed winning a Six Nations, travelling to a World Cup and winning every available trophy with Leinster. However, injuries mixed with an injection of younger players has seen Kearney struggle for game time in Leinster's key matches.
Byrne on the other hand, moved to Connacht last season following his 67 Leinster caps, he too was struggling to break into an admittedly stacked Leinster side. However, an injury-marred season has left the 29-year-old with just six appearances for Connacht and frankly no better off than he was with Leinster.
Kearney's move isn't all that surprising. It was stated when the club was created last year that Rob and Dave Kearney are co-founders of the Hounds. Additionally, there's a stacked Irish attache already there with CEO James English, Attacking Coach Dave Clancy as well as players Luke Carty, Paddy Ryan and Mark O'Keefe all hailing from these shores.
It also appears as if the Kearney brothers are keen to expand that Leinster clique, with extra.ie reporting that former Leinster centre Noel Reid (currently playing with the Toronto Arrows) is tipped to make the move. Meanwhile, third-choice Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy is reportedly a target for the Hounds as well.
The Chicago Hounds launched last season and have struggled so far this season winning just one of eight matches. However, the addition of players from arguably the best club side in the world would be revolutionary for any team, let alone a developing club in a developing league.
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