A promising player at school for Clongowes Wood College, the man from the Cooley Peninsula in Louth made his debut for Leinster in 2005 and has represented Ireland at schools, Under 19, A and senior levels.
The Louth native, now aligned with University College Dublin, was a member of Eddie O'Sullivan's 2007 RBS 6 Nations squad but did not earn his first cap until the '07 summer tour to Argentina. He made his RBS 6 Nations debut against Italy in February 2008 and went on to win caps in each of the 5 games, turning in some eye catching performances.
Kearney also played the two summer tests against New Zealand and Australia. The 08/09 season saw his star continue to rise. His coolness under the high ball, counter attacking pace and seige gun left boot saw him pick up a Grand Slam and a Heineken Cup winners medal as well as place in Ian McGeechan's 2009 Lions squad.
Played four games in RWC2011 scoring a try against Russia. Kearney has since established himself as one of Ireland's frontline players under the Declan Kidney regime. Kearney's career has progressed well in recent years, culminating in him being recognised as the European Rugby Player of the Year in 2012, the day after his club side Leinster retained their Heineken Cup title.
In 2013, Kearney was once again selected for the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of Australia. Played in four more at RWC2015 scoring an Irish record equalling try in three successive RWC games, against Canada, Romania and France and then the persistent problems disrupted his Six Nations campaign.
In 2016, Kearney was ruled out of Ireland's summer tour to South Africa following a hamstring strain. Kearney has been injury ravaged over the last 18 months, but Joe Schmidt remained his faith in the Leinster full-back and handed Kearney a starting berth against the All Blacks in Soldier Field, Chicago. The Louth man responded with perhaps one of his most threatening performances in an Irish jersey with an all round display.
In March 2018, Kearney signed a contract extension with the IRFU up until November 2019. He started every game of the successful 2014 and 2015 championship campaigns, as well as every game of the 2009 and 2018 Grand Slam seasons.
Kearney made his Ireland debut against Argentina in June 2007 and has won 83 caps for the national team, scoring 13 tries and a conversion.
As of the 2018/2019 Champions Cup, Kearney has had 76 European appearances scoring 19 tries and 106 points.
In May 2019, following 90 caps for his country, he signed a new deal to continue playing in Ireland until the end of the 2019/20 season.
(LS May 28, 2019)
|2005 - present|
|2008 - present|
|Clongowes Wood College
|British & Irish Lions
|2009 - 2013|