D'Arcy urges Ireland to turn home into fortress
GORDON D'ARCY has called on Ireland to improve their home form ahead of Saturday week's Six Nations clash with Italy.
The centre feels criticism of the team in the wake of their defeat to Wales was justified because they should be delivering victories at Lansdowne Road.
Since moving back to their traditional home in 2010, Ireland have won just three of their nine games at the Aviva Stadium, beating Samoa and Argentina in November Tests and England in last year's Six Nations. "We should be winning our home games," D'Arcy told the Irish Independent. "Regardless of who we are playing, it's a home game and we should be winning those.
"The fallout from the Wales game was maybe justified by the exit from the World Cup, the fact that it was our first game at home and the amount of games we lost at the Aviva last year."
The Ireland team gathered at Carton House yesterday for their first training session since Saturday's non-event at the Stade de France. The players return to their provinces today ahead of the weekend's Pro12 action, but D'Arcy won't be involved when Leinster take on the Scarlets tomorrow night.
Instead, his focus is fully on Ireland and the improvement needed to beat the Italians and resurrect the Six Nations campaign.