At 11.45 this morning Dave Kearney is still fielding questions, still keeping himself busy as he awaits confirmation that Joe Schmidt has included him in the squad for next month’s internationals.
“It’s a nerve-wrecking enough time now,” says the Leinster back. “I don’t know if I’ll be involved, I’m checking my mails here every few minutes.”
We hoped to spot a white lie behind his black eye, but he seemed to be telling the truth.
His inclusion marks a high point in a tumultuous six months for Kearney. Nobody, least of all the Louthman, needs reminding of the incident with Paul O’Connell in April.
“I knew it was an accident, nothing malicious,” he says with quiet bemusement of that furore that raged on his behalf. ”Once it all blew over it was fine.
“The most frustrating part that I wasn’t getting an opportunity to play and stake my claim for the big games.”
Just over a month passed before his late cameo in the Amlin Challenge Cup final, but while his teammates were headed for Australia, North America and the under 20 World Cup in France, Kearney joined the unheralded Emerging Ireland squad in Georgia.
From being the centre of a media circus, the spotlight was well and truly off him this summer. He doesn’t exactly sound like a man angling for any offers from the Tbilisi tourism board, but the tour served its purpose from a long-term perspective.
“It was a strange enough experience, it was a strange enough place. They’re quite backwards in everything that they do over there.
“For me, I had been out for six or seven weeks, I just wanted to get game time, play rugby again and know I could get through 80 minutes.
“Obviously I would have liked to tour America and Canada, but I knew the fact I hadn’t played for a month or two didn’t really put me in a strong position. We had a good setup, nice hotel, good pitches and a good bunch of lad too. Once you have all those things you can enjoy it.”
So now he has emerged, and came through pre-season in pristine shape to start and finish all seven of Leinster’s fixtures this season. Only ‘a bit of a stupid tackle’ away to Llanelli has denied him playing every minute.
That playing record along with an international call-up mean his streak is likely to end this weekend, but Kearney is happy enough to keep going while the going is good.
Even with his new provincial coach obviously a fan and Schmidt displaying enough trust to name him as one of only four wingers in the squad, Kearney is taking nothing for granted.
HTC Ireland has today announced the launch of its flagship HTC One in Vivid Blue.
The phone will be exclusively available in Ireland from Carphone Warehouse from today and is the latest iteration of the phone which has won numerous awards as the best Smartphone of 2013.
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