Leinster’s Mick Kearney has become the latest seasoned signing by Michael Bradley’s Zebre. The second row is due in Parma on June 10 to begin life in Italy following a career in Ireland where he also lined out for Connacht.
Kearney featured in 16 of Leinster’s 21 regular season PRO14 games before the club moved onto the play-offs and annexed the title with last Saturday’s Celtic Park win over Glasgow.
He will become the second lock released by Leinster to sign for Zebre as Bradley last week captured Ian Nagle, the second row who spent most of last term on loan at Ulster before his contract in Dublin elapsed.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Zebre and I will try to do my best to help the club achieve its goals on and off the field for the future. In recent years, Zebre have played a very attractive and purposeful brand of rugby. I hope I can give my contribution to better develop this game plan.”
Zebre team boss Andrea de Rossi said: “We welcome a ball carrier with great experience and leadership. We have been facilitated in recruiting him thanks to the direct knowledge of our head coach Michael Bradley. Kearney is a second row very similar to David Sisi and that will give important alternatives.
The Irish ?? lock joins Italian side ?? after 100 #GuinnessPRO14 caps.
?? "I want to help help ? to achieve their goals both on and off the pitch!!"
— Zebre Rugby Club ? (@ZebreRugby) May 29, 2019
“Kearney is the last of the five experienced foreigners we have announced in the 2019/20 squad. The objectives of our market strategy were three-fold.
“First, to increase the competitiveness of the squad in the quality of the training sessions and in the results on the field in this season with the World Cup.
“Second, to lower the period of the most used athletes last season, guaranteeing everyone a better recovery to maximise their performances.
“Finally, inserting many young people in a positive and structured context. We have always operated in the market while respecting our budget: we are all confident that we have built a balanced and quality squad.”
WATCH: The RugbyPass behind the scenes documentary on Zebre’s preparations for the 2018/19 season
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