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Rob Kearney misses out on final game but is preparing for biggest match of his life

By Chris Jones
Rob Kearney /Getty

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Rob Kearney has come to terms with the bitter disappointment of not being able to mark the end of his outstanding rugby career by playing for the Barbarians against Samoa and is now preparing for the biggest match of his life at the end of this week

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Kearney had hoped to help the Barbarians in their Twickenham fixture with Samoa but it was cancelled just 90 minutes before kick-off due to six positive COVID-19 tests amongst his teammates in the most famous club side in the sport.

He flew back to Dublin on Sunday and is now completing the final details before getting married to long-term girlfriend Jess Redden in a wedding that will make the front pages of Ireland’s magazines and newspapers.

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Rob Kearney makes a cameo appearance on The Offload:
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Rob Kearney makes a cameo appearance on The Offload:

Kearney, 35-years-old has confirmed to RugbyPass that he will not be “lacing up my boots again” despite having his final match ruined by the pandemic. He said: “No I don’t think so, that was the last opportunity – the last hurrah!

“It was all written so nicely to play in my last game for the Barbarians, such a prestigious, historical club, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Given everything we have seen over the last few years, things can always be worse. It is only a game at the end of the day when lives have been lost around the world.

“It is very disappointing but when you put it in perspective in the grand scheme of things it is not that big a deal. If you had told me 15/16 years ago when I started playing professional rugby that I would get married five days after I retired I would not have believed you that is for sure.”

Kearney, who won 95 caps for Ireland and played in three British and Irish Lions test matches in a glittering career with Leinster, got engaged to Jess in New York on New Year’s Eve 2019.

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