Dave Kearney has been named in Andy Farrell’s 35-man strong for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations Championship, marking his first inclusion in a Six Nations panel since 2016 – but there is no place for brother Rob who misses out on the chance to add to his 93 Ireland caps.
Younger brother Dave is selected for the fourth time in his international career, but for first time since he made three straight squads between 2014 and 2016. His inclusion appears to have come at the expense of his elder brother however as Rob (34) was not named in the panel by new coach Farrell. He had previously been selected in eight consecutive Six Nations panels.
Rob Kearney had previously been left out of a training camp and now it seems that after sharing starting duty with his Leinster teammate Jordan Larmour at last year’s World Cup in Japan, Farrell has opted to go with the 22-year-old moving forward.
Regarded by many as one of the best full backs to play for Ireland, Kearney has enjoyed an illustrious international career winning 93 caps and helping Ireland to four Six Nations Championships and two Grand Slams, in 2009 and 2018. The Leinster man has yet to announce his retirement from international rugby and may still harbour hopes of a return to the green jersey.
At 34, there is little chance of Kearney still being involved with the Ireland team by the team the World Cup in 2023 comes around and it is felt Farrell feels the time is right to start the changing of the guard in his panel, with an eye to the next World Cup cycle.
Dave Kearney (pictured above) has won just 19 caps for his country, scoring five tries in that time. He joins five uncapped players in Farrell’s squad for the series that begins against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in two weeks time.