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Euro award for Kearney

Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has been named the European Player of the Year after his outstanding contribution to the Irish province's latest Heineken Cup triumph.

The 26-year-old Ireland international started all nine of Leinster's games as they became the first side to retain the trophy thanks to their crushing 42-14 final victory over Ulster at Twickenham on Saturday.

Kearney scored six tries in total during the campaign, and proved the matchwinner in the semi-final win over Clermont Auvergne by setting up Cian Healy's try and slotting a monster drop goal.

He succeeds team-mate Sean O'Brien as the winner of the award.

Kearney said: "This is a massively proud moment for me. To be recognised for your performances throughout the season is a dream come true especially when it's in a European context.

"While I'm delighted with the recognition, an individual player is powerless without the support of his teammates. So I owe this award to the Leinster squad, to the management and to the all staff at the club."

Kearney and his team-mates will look to complete the double when they face the Ospreys in Sunday's RaboDirect Pro12 final.

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From Belfast Telegraph