The Western Force have confirmed the departure of nine players, including former Ireland international Rob Kearney.
Kearney joined the Western Force ahead of the 2021 Super Rugby season, and made his debut for the Perth-based side in the first round of the domestic Super Rugby AU competition against the Brumbies in February.
The Ireland international played well for the Force in the early stages of the season, but missed a number of games this year due to a hip injury.
#ForceForever 💙 Thank you for all your efforts, we will miss you. 🤝
— Western Force (@westernforce) July 1, 2021
Rob Kearney’s time Down Under.
While Kearney’s departure isn’t unexpected as the Irishman had only signed a one-year contract with the Force, the Western Australian side would have done well to retain his services after his performances early in the season.
Kearney made his final appearance for the club in the last round of the regular season of Super Rugby Trans Tasman, in which he came off the bench to score his first and only try for the Force.
The Irishman has not yet announced what he intends to do next, but at the age of 35, Kearney’s career could soon be coming to an end.
The Western Force’s 2021 season.
The Force were much improved this year compared to 2020, having finished in third place in Super Rugby AU to seal a place in the semi-final play-off.
The Brumbies defeated them in that play-off, but the Force can be happy to have won four of their fixtures after losing all eight games the previous year.
The Western Australians were unable to carry their form into the Super Rugby Trans Tasman season, where they lost all five games against New Zealand opposition.
Nine players in total are leaving the club after the 2021 season, among them former Australia international Tevita Kuridrani and Argentina scrum-half Tomas Cubelli.