Why retiring Rob Kearney was one of the best fullbacks of his generation
By Rugby Onslaught

Why retiring Rob Kearney was one of the best fullbacks of his generation

Former Ireland fullback Rob Kearney announced that his runout with the Barbarians this Saturday will be his last match in his professional career.

The 98-cap international finished his stint with the Western Force in Australia earlier this year and announced on Tuesday that the match at Twickenham against Samoa will be his final game.

He Tweeted: It’s always been a dream to play for the Barbarians and what a historic team to play your last game of rugby with, grateful for the opportunity!”

The three-cap British & Irish Lion was everything a coach would want in a fullback, primarily a master in the air. Few fullbacks have been as dependable under the high ball as the Irishman, and this highlights reel proves that:

Barbarians squad to take on Samoa:

Tom Robertson (Australia, Western Force)
Malcolm Marx (South Africa, Kubota Spears)
Shinnosuke Kakinaga (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath)
Jack Dunne (Leinster)
Rodrigo Fernandez Criado (Argentina, Belgrano Athletic)
Pete Samu (Australia, ACT Brumbies)
Rob Leota (Australia, Melbourne Rebels)
Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues)
Tate McDermott (Australia, Queensland Reds)
Ryoto Nakamura (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath)
Tom Wright (Australia, ACT Brumbies)
Len Ikitau (Australia, ACT Brumbies)
Izaia Perese (Japan, NSW Waratahs)
Filipo Daugunu (Australia, Queensland Reds)
James O’Connor (Australia, Queensland Red)
Steven Kitshoff (South Africa, DHL Stormers)
Kosuke Horikoshi (Japan, Tokyo Sungoliath)
Naohiro Kotaki (Japan, Kobelco Kobe Steelers)
Angus Bell (Australia, NSW Waratahs)
Duane Vermeulen (South Africa, Ulster Rugby)
Nic White (Australia, ACT Brumbies)
Ryan Wilson (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors)
Rob Kearney (Ireland, former Leinster and Western Force)
Marcos Moneta (Argentina, San Andres)

Head coach Dave Rennie said: “We’ve got a great group of players here and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the week, learning about them all and getting input from everyone as to how we want to play next Saturday.”