Dave_The_Sheep wrote: »
Has he officially retired though? Irish Rugby's tweet was ... ambiguous and nothing from the man himself that I've seen.
awec wrote: »
Deserves his own thread I reckon now that he’s officially retired.
4 Six nations including 2 grand slams
4 Heineken cups
1 challenge cup
Got a lot of stick in the last 4 or 5 years for his style of play (including from me) but he was a quality operator.
It’s a bit mad how long he’s been around, and I find it hard to believe that he’s the most decorated player, but there you have it.
It is becoming clearer that none of the current pretenders are in the same league in terms of reliability.
Beechwoodspark wrote: »
RK is Ireland’s most decorated player of the professional era I think
Buer wrote: »
I went to a pre season friendly in Naas when Leinster played Parma in 2005. Two young players destroyed Parma, Heaslip and Rob Kearney.
It's interesting to see how RK developed and evolved during his career. He was a sensational attacker in his earlier years culminating in a brilliant try for the Lions. But he developed a positional game that was unparalleled in the world.
However, the game moved on too and a player needed more than just that. They needed to be the full package. His ability was so high that it outweighed the limitations. But eventually, time will tell. I think he pretty much ticked every box he realistically wanted to tick in rugby. No other can hold a candle to him in terms of achievements and silverware with the possibly exception of Sexton.
He can walk away from Irish rugby with his head held high. He might not be first choice any longer but he's still a solid player and, aside from the NZ game, performed really well in the RWC last year. He was one of the most valued players in Europe for a sustained period with good reason.
I'll always recall the drop against Clermont as the single moment that defined his ability but, as a performance, the home game against Wasps in 2009 was simply exceptional. They launched bomb after bomb and he defused them all as well as gathering his own kicks. It was a tactical tour de force.
Fair play, Rob. For a bloke who wasn't even the best player in his family, he done good.
Heroditas wrote: »
I was at that match too. Lovely sunny day iirc.
Doesn't seem that long ago on some ways. Yikes, 15 years!!
That performance against Wasps wasn't 2009 though, was it? We played them in the 2008/09 HEC but Dempsey was at FB for the home game when we routed them.
bilston wrote: »
He is still the best FB in Ireland.
Buer wrote: »
Nah, Andrew Conway to full back is really a no brainer for me at this point. Larmour doesn't have the aerial aggression or the brains to be a full back. Stockdale still has some merit for me as a fullback. The question is whether his defence is good enough to be in the team at all at this point.
Clegg wrote: »
Don't think Conway will ever play at 15 for Ireland if he isn't getting regular time there for Munster.
Captain_Crash wrote: »
I live near him and see him about the place a good bit. Poor f**ker can’t cycle up the road for a coffee without being stopped multiple times by groups of blonds looking for a selfie! Some life eh haha! Sound bloke and will go down as one of the greatest FB’s to play the game
Niallof9 wrote: »
ah the last bit is a bit much...i know we like to hype our lads up but come on now.
One of the greatest Irish FB's perhaps. One of the best fielding fullbacks perhaps. But one of the best fullbacks ever? nah, not a hope.
Near the end he stifled the way we played the game. Its a shame whatever happened the running fullback we saw in his early 20's somewhat disappeared.
Madeoface wrote: »
Top player and we all saw in the Saracens game how much his experience is missed at FB. I'd agree that Conway should take up the Ireland mantle, form player, very solid and exciting (which we can't say about RK in his final couple of seasons).
Thanks Rob, especially for all the anger and sniping you roused on Munsterfans when Joe consistently picked you instead of the supposed special one with the rolled down socks.....show those haters all those medals.
Captain_Crash wrote: »
The subjective nature of sport I suppose. I didn't say he was the best, just one of them... in 10 years time when the conversation is being had of the all time greats, he features. Were there better FB's? yes... but very few IMO.
shootermacg wrote: »
Kearney is the best FB Ireland has ever produced. But no questioning Zebo's aerial ability.
Buer wrote: »
We missed a trick by not making Zebo a full back earlier in his career. It was always odd. He was quick, had a massive boot and is a skillful player. He was nearly always on the wing for Munster until about 2016 when he featured much more at full back. I think he started 15 for Ireland a couple of times well before he appeared there for Munster.
If we had focussed on him as a full back earlier in his career, I think it would have seen Kearney being moved on earlier and Zebo having the career that his talent suggested he would have.