Force sign Irish star fullback Kearney

The Western Force's recruiting spree has continued with the signing of Irish star Rob Kearney on a one-year deal.

TOM ROBERTSON of the Waratahs runs out onto the field during the Super Rugby AU match between the Waratahs and the Reds at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia.
TOM ROBERTSON of the Waratahs runs out onto the field during the Super Rugby AU match between the Waratahs and the Reds at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The Western Force have completed a major recruiting coup by signing Irish star Rob Kearney on a one-year deal.

The 34-year-old fullback, who made 95 appearances for Ireland, joins from Pro14 champions Leinster Rugby.

Kearney's illustrious international career has included two Grand Slams (2009 and 2018), four Six Nations triumphs (2009, 2014, 2015 and 2018) and three World Cup campaigns (2011, 2015 and 2019).

At club level, Kearney has played a crucial role in establishing provincial side Leinster as Ireland's most successful club team, where he lifted six PRO14 titles, four European Champions Cups and a European Challenge Cup since debuting against Welsh side Ospreys back in 2005.

Kearney also earned three caps for the British and Irish Lions, which included tours to South Africa in 2009 and a series victory against Australia in 2013.

"I am delighted to be joining the Western Force for their upcoming season and excited to play with such an ambitious club who are looking to improve on this year's campaign," Kearney said.

"I hope to add value both on and off the field that complements the high ambition of the club.

"I'm particularly excited to immerse myself in a new performance environment and to play both with and against some of the best players and teams in the southern hemisphere."

Kearney's signings come on the back of the arrivals of Wallabies duo Tevita Kuridrani and Tom Robertson.

The Force have re-signed Kieran Longbottom, Ian Prior, Brynard Stander, Kyle Godwin, and Marcel Brache on new deals.

The Perth-based franchise finished last and winless in Super Rugby AU this year but are expected to improve in 2021 on the back of a big recruiting drive.