Gordon D'Arcy

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Gordon D'Arcy
GordonDarcy.jpg
Date of birth (1980-02-10) 10 February 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 14 st 4 lb (91 kg)
School Clongowes Wood College
University University College Dublin
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Inside Centre
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Lansdowne FC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998–present Leinster 236 (329)
correct as of 6 August 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1999–present
2005,2009
Ireland
British and Irish Lions
81
1
(35)
(0)
correct as of 23 November 2014.

Gordon William D'Arcy (born 10 February 1980, Ferns, County Wexford[1]) is an Irish rugby player, more specifically an inside centre. He is registered to Lansdowne RFC and plays for provincial and RaboDirect Pro12 side Leinster.

Career[edit]

D'Arcy was a promising fullback for schools side Clongowes Wood in the late 1990s, and on the eve of his Leaving Cert was called into the Irish squad for the tour of South Africa by coach Warren Gatland. However, because of his studies he declined the opportunity.[2] On leaving school he joined the Lansdowne Football Club and made his Ireland debut on 15 October 1999 as a substitute against Romania during the World Cup.

Following a falling out with his provincial coaches regarding his attitude – which almost drove him to retire from the game – D'Arcy was left out of the international setup for three years. His second game for his country came on 17 November 2002 as a late substitute in Ireland's 64–17 win over Fiji. He made a further three appearances as a substitute during 2003. He was not selected for the Irish squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia, but was picked for the Leinster team during the absence of its World Cup players. It was then that he came into his own, playing some of the best rugby of his career at fullback/wing, where he displayed delightful skill in running from deep and finishing off the moves that he had started. After the World Cup, an injury to Brian O'Driscoll, his Leinster team mate, saw D'Arcy move to outside centre, where he made a great impression.

Owing to the further absence of O'Driscoll from the Irish squad for the first match of the Six Nations in that season against France, D'Arcy found himself in the number 13 jersey at international level. Such was his form that, on O'Driscoll's return, he kept his place, allowing the selectors to experiment with O'Driscoll at inside centre.

He was voted player of the Six Nations tournament in 2004 as he helped inspire his country to the Triple Crown for the first time since 1985. What most impressed supporters was his ability to wrong-foot the flat-defence off passes from O'Driscoll and to create space out of nothing; this was particularly appreciated in his performance against England at Twickenham. It seemed that a new type of centre partnership had been created, which superseded the grinding format preferred by international coaches, of using a crash centre at no.12 and ignoring the possibilities of quick offloads in the centre of the field. The new centre combination was also impressive in its hard and intelligent defence, which often converted into successful counter-attack. D'Arcy was nominated for IRB Player Of The Year in 2004

Despite an injury plagued 2004–05 season, D'Arcy was named in the British and Irish Lions squad for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. But his performances during the tour were generally poor, and he reputedly refused to play in the final test against New Zealand, though he vehemently denies this.[3] There were fears at that stage that his form during the 2003/04 season would prove to have been a flash in the pan. However, he has been back fully fit for Leinster and Ireland in the 2005/06 season and has impressed in a new-look, much more attack minded Leinster team.

D'Arcy played in all of Ireland's 2006 Six Nations matches, he beat more defenders than any other player, and showed his talent. His return to top form continued during the autumn international series where his performances against Australia and South Africa contributed to back – to – back victories for the Irish team. D'Arcy now usually plays at inside centre for Leinster and Ireland with O'Driscoll outside him. He played in all of Ireland's 2007 Six Nations matches, he was nominated for RBS Six Nations Player Of The Tournament in 2007. After sustaining a multiple fracture in his arm in the opening match of the 2008 Six Nations, versus Italy, D'Arcy missed the remainder of the season and only returned to Leinster in December 2008. He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam.[4]

In May 2009, D'Arcy was named in the Barbarians squad to play England and Australia along with Ireland team mate Geordan Murphy and Leinster colleague Rocky Elsom.,[5] the Barbarians ended up beating England by 33 points to 26, with D'Arcy scoring one of the tries.[6] On 3 June 2009, D'Arcy was called up for the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour in South Africa due to injuries in the squad. He featured for Ireland against Fiji and South Africa during the 2009 November Tests, and started every game in the 2010 Six Nations. He started against New Zealand in the 2010 Summer Tests and scored 1 try, but a groin problem kept him out of Ireland's remaining test against Australia.[7][8] He earned his 50th cap against South Africa on 6 November 2010.[9]

D'Arcy[10] was named in the Ireland Rugby World Cup 2011 squad.[11] In the Australia vs Ireland match at the 2011 World Cup, D'Arcy and O'Driscoll set the world record for most appearances as a centre partnership together in international rugby, at 45 appearances. This broke the previous record set by Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott.[12]

Personal life[edit]

D'Arcy regularly partakes in charity work, including work for Barretstown, GOAL.ie, personal appearances at various children's hospitals in Dublin and work with Brainwave (an epilepsy society in Ireland) and the Irish MS society. He enrolled in UCD 1st year arts for the academic year 2007/08.

In July 2012, D'Arcy married model Aoife Cogan at St. Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan.[13] The couple are also business partners in Form School, a reformer pilates studio on Grattan Street, in Dublin.[14] D'Arcy grew a beard which attracted much attention and was shaved off by Jonathan Sexton after Ireland won the 2014 Six Nations Championship.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hey, D'Arcy". The Sunday Tribune. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  2. ^ Walsh, David (6 February 2005). "The Big Interview: Gordon D'Arcy". London: The Times. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  3. ^ "D'Arcy not about to fluff his Lions opportunity this time". Irish Times. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Gareth (22 March 2009). "2009 Six Nations". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "England 26–33 Barbarians". BBC Sport. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  7. ^ "Lions call up Ireland back D'Arcy". BBC Sport. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  8. ^ "Gordon D'Arcy Earns Much Deserved Lions Call-Up". RugbyBreakdown.co.uk. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  9. ^ "Reluctant hero still striving to up the ante". The Irish Times. 3 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Reluctant hero still striving to up the ante". The Irish Times. 
  11. ^ "Kidney announces RWC squad". TV3. 
  12. ^ "World record for O’Driscoll and D'Arcy". Doha Stadium Plus Qatar. 2011-09-30. 
  13. ^ "Shaping up for something new - model Aoife Cogan and husband Gordon D'Arcy open Pilates studio together". Irish Independent. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Aoife Cogan gives Gordon D'Arcy's fuzzy beard her blessing". Irish Independent. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Irish Independent article on the beard

External links[edit]