Ireland's Rob Kearney wins ERC player of the year title

Rob Kearney
Derek McGrath and Rob Kearney

Ireland and Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has been named as the European player of the year for 2011-12.

The 26-year-old beat off competition from clubmate Jonathan Sexton, Ulster duo Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar, and English fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

Kearney has been capped 38 times by Ireland and was an integral part of Leinster's Heineken Cup-winning team.

He started all of Leinster's European games as the Irish province triumphed for the third time in four years.

That nine-game run culminated in a 42-14 victory over Ulster in the final on Saturday.

The full-back, who succeeds team-mate Sean O'Brien as the winner of northern hemisphere rugby's ultimate individual accolade, scored six tries during the campaign and put in a series of consistently high performances.

"It really is an honour to have won this ERC award," said Kearney.

"While I am delighted with the recognition, an individual player is powerless without the support of his team-mates.

"So I owe this to the Leinster squad, to the management and to all the backroom staff at the club."

Top Stories