D'Arcy raring to go as operation Down Under ends injury agony
Gordon D'Arcy has revealed that he played most of the second half of last season at "60 to 70pc" of his full capacity due to being plagued by groin and hip injuries that prevented him from training.
The Ireland centre stayed behind in Australia at the end of the summer tour to have an operation on the troublesome injury and now feels fresher than ever.
"I was playing injured and hurt every week," he said yesterday at the Pace Yourself training day.
"So I wasn't really able to train and I was taking things slow. When someone hits you on the side, on the groin, it feels like someone is sticking the needle in. It's hard to hop straight back up from that. I was playing at 60 or 70pc to get through games.
"I needed two weeks to get it right. I tore the groin in the last 15 minutes of the last Six Nations game against Scotland and then tore it again against Munster the next week.
"I tore it regularly for the next three months -- I tore it every couple of weeks. I wasn't able to train or do weights, just going from game to game getting injections into my pubic bone.
"I was on a downward slope: there was something badly wrong due to the accumulation factor. The doctor over there said I probably had it for a year and a half so it was getting progressively worse. I had a couple of hip operations and completed my tests; I haven't felt this good since I came back from breaking my arm."
Refreshed, D'Arcy is looking forward to the new campaign that will eventually lead to next year's World Cup.
And the inside-centre is looking forward to exploiting the new breakdown laws that have seen players in his position cut loose in the southern hemisphere.
"I'm excited about the next 16 months," he said. "I've got to get used to these new rules. We've been practising that and the speed of the rugby is quicker.
"There is space, but it will be in and around the 10-12 channel, and in around the 9s. It's very positive from an attacking point of view and I love the challenge from a defensive point of view."