Live

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

LIVE: Newsround
Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

11:02 28 May 2019


After agreeing in principle to a nine-month contract extension with the IRFU, Leinster’s Rob Kearney spoke to Off The Ball and revealed that during periods of intense criticism he questioned his enjoyment of playing for Ireland.

Kearney was responding to a question from Off The Ball about his experiences of being written off as past his best by critics and some sections of the media.

“It is very stressful because you take it personally”, the 33-year-old full-back admitted.

“You have to because that's your job. It's easier to dismiss when you're getting picked every week because you like to think the coaching staff knows more than someone on a keyboard.”

Kearney noted that the years before Ireland’s 2018 Grand Slam and the victories over New Zealand had caused him so much stress that he pondered over his enjoyment of playing for Ireland.

“I've gone through a few tough years where it really did get to me and we weren’t winning things and I started to question my enjoyment playing for the national team.”

“You are going into the Six Nations and you're thinking: ‘here we go two months of abuse coming up.’”

Kearney

When asked whether it was more stress caused by the scrutiny of his performances or simply abuse, Kearney said that “they go hand in hand” and “everyone gets it at some stage”.

Despite the strain it put on the 90-cap international, Kearney explained that regardless the scrutiny and criticism has been worth it.

“I don’t mean this in an arrogant sort of way but you have those medals and no one's gonna take them away from you. I'd take all the abuse years over again to have those memories and those medals. Opinions come and go but you have those things for life.”

Kearney also reflected on some of the feelings he expects the Irish camp to experience ahead of the start of the World Cup in Japan in September.

“A world cup is stressful but very exciting too and if you can go to a World Cup and achieve something that no Irish team has ever done before then that would be incredible.”

“You are going with a little bit of anxiety, you’re nervous but there's a huge level of excitement too”

Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.

Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Ireland Japan 2019 Leinster Rob Kearney Rugby World Cup 2019

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

Up next

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on