Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Rob Kearney: Future Ireland Captain
The Ireland and British and Irish Lions full back has cemented his position in the Ireland team with his excellent footballing skills, and now he is upping his claims for the captaincy role after revealing his relationship with his new celebrity girlfriend.
Move over Bramy (Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman), Rosie is the hot new couple in town.
Rob is dating British actress Susie Amy, and the pair revealed their new relationship when they stepped out for the opening night of Queen musical "We Will Rock You" in Dublin.
Susie, who is best known for her role as WAG-tastic Chardonnay Lane-Pascoe in TV show Footballers' Wives, has traded in her character's trappings of WAG-dom and is the latest "scrummie" on the block.
I asked Susie if she will be travelling to Paris this weekend to support her rugby playing beau when Ireland take on France in the Six Nations.
She said: "Yes I am. I reckon it'll be a tough one. That's just my opinion!".
Susie also travelled to watch Rob play against Italy in the Six Nations opener at Croke part, and jetted into Dublin to support her man during last year's November tests.
With Brian O'Driscoll almost ready to draw his pension and Paul O'Connell seven years Kearney's senior, Kearney is a strong candidate for Ireland captain in the future. The fact he has bagged a celebrity girlfriend in true O'Driscoll style will launch his star further into the stratosphere.
Kearney's rise into rugby stardom has been meteoric. He started his rugby education at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, before being part of University College Dublin's U-20s team which won the McCorry Cup in 2005. Kearney played for Leinster at both schoolboy and U-19 level before making his debut in the senior squad in a Magners League game against the Ospreys in 2005. A rapid ascension through the Ireland A ranks led him to win his first full Ireland cap in June 2007 on the tour to Argentina. Now at only 23 he is a regular fixture in the 15 shirt for both Leinster and Ireland and was one of the standout players on last year's Lions tour to South Africa, scoring a memorable try in the second test in Pretoria.
Kearney takes a calm and focussed approach to his rugby and is already displaying all the qualities required by an international captain. Of course he may fall into the celebrity trap and flail around in the rugby wilderness like messrs Henson and Cipriani, but I think Kearney is too savvy to make that mistake. If he keeps his feet on the pitch and his head in the game, then I tip Kearney to be Ireland captain in a few years.
Of course, if he truly is going to follow in the footsteps of Ireland's rugby messiah, Brian O'Driscoll, then a celebrity girlfriend definitely helps.
Rob Kearney: captain in waiting. Just don't tell Jamie Heaslip.