Connacht Rugby can confirm that Dublin-born lock Mick Kearney will depart the province at the end of the season after signing a new deal with Leinster Rugby.

The 23-year-old who represented Ireland at U18, U20 and Colleges level, joined the Connacht Academy in 2011 having spent some time in the Leinster Under-20 and sub Academy set up.

He earned his first Connacht cap against Ospreys in November 2011 and went on to make his first senior start against Leinster in January 2012, playing at blindside flanker.

Kearney has 68 caps for Connacht and has touched down for two tries this season – against Zebre and Newport Gwent Dragons.

Speaking today, Kearney said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the coaches that have been involved with Connacht Rugby during my time here with a special mention going to Jimmy (Duffy) and Nigel (Carolan) who took me into the Academy four years ago and played a key role in my development as a player. Forwards coach Dan (McFarland) also had a massive influence on my game and I’m very grateful to him.

“I want to say a big thank you to the Connacht supporters who have made my time here so memorable. The years I’ve had and the friends I’ve made here will not be forgotten and I look forward to following Connacht’s success in the future.”

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