Longtime Ireland and Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has decided to call time on his rugby playing days.
The Louth native will line out for the final time for the Barbarians on Saturday against Samoa at Twickenham.
Kearney, now 35, most recently had a spell down under with Super Rugby side Western Force after leaving Leinster in September of last year.
After returning from his Australian excursion - Kearney opted to go back to his roots in putting on a Cooley Kickhams jersey.
Cool to see Rob Kearney back playing GAA for Cooley Kickhams in Louth. pic.twitter.com/DoDfhK3dCN
— The Loose Head (@TheLooseH) August 11, 2021
The former Ireland international played for his local GAA club at full-forward and midfield. He hadn't played gaelic football since 2005.
Speaking to the Independent in September he said, "It’s very much scratching an itch, keeping me fit for (Barbarians in November)."
"I suppose when you do go back and play a few games and realise where you’re at as opposed to where you think you might be at, I don’t have the engine to keep up with those boys anymore."
Leinster's defeat to Saracens tonight means Rob Kearney's illustrious career is over.
Kearney was Ireland's greatest-ever fullback and retires with an incredible medal haul that includes 2 Grand Slams, 4 Six Nations Championships and 4 Heineken Cups. pic.twitter.com/iDJBAfrzLx
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 19, 2020
A Glittering Career
Kearney earned 95 caps over his international tenure, scoring 82 points since he first featured in a summer test game against Argentina in 2007.
Over the course of his Irish playing days he won the Six Nations Championship four times - including two Grand Slam titles in 2009 and 2018.
At club level - Kearney played for Leinster for fifteen years having first represented the province's schoolboy and Under 19 teams.
He played 219 times before moving on in 2020. His stint at Leinster earned him four Heineken Cups and six Pro14 titles.
— Rob Kearney (@KearneyRob) November 23, 2021
Kearney also featured for the British and Irish Lions on two occasions; 2009 and 2013. The latter tour involved a test series win over Australia.
Speaking on Twitter, Kearney confirmed his retirement after he plays for the Baa-Baas on Saturday.
It's always been a dream to play for the @Barbarian_FC and what a historic team to play your last game of rugby with, grateful for the opportunity!