Saturday 16 December 2017

D'Arcy's sights on new deal at Leinster

Gordon D'Arcy admits that he would not like to play outside of Ireland
Gordon D'Arcy admits that he would not like to play outside of Ireland

Ruaidri O'Connor

AFTER a year of listening to his long-term centre partner answer question after question about his future, Gordon D'Arcy decided to meet the issue head-on at UCD.

Brian O'Driscoll last week admitted he regretted the speculation that surrounded his retirement date that dominated the 2012/13 season and D'Arcy perhaps took note as he expressed his desire to continue beyond the end of this campaign when his contract expires.

The 33-year-old said he will sit down with Joe Schmidt and establish whether the Ireland coach has him in his plans for the 2015 World Cup and will meet Leinster around Christmas to work out a deal.

He ruled out finishing his rugby abroad and intends to remain a one-club man for the rest of his illustrious career.


"I definitely want to stay on. But it is not just me making a decision any more. There is also my wife. There's also Leinster. There's also Ireland," he said, alluding to the support of his model wife Aofie Cogan.

"I have to speak to Joe. Am I in his plans for the World Cup? Where do Leinster see the squad going? There are a huge amount of things. It will be a very, very easy decision when it comes around.

"I would love to do something outside of Ireland but realistically it is not going to happen, not at this stage of my life, my career and not with the tax back.

"My wife has got a fantastic point of view on things and she has a great way of helping me think things through and make decisions. We had great long chats over the summer and I came back really refreshed and really excited about what I want to do this season.

"I am contracted to the end of the season. I've spoken to Leinster. In and around Christmas I will have a chat with them, and they are pretty happy with that as well."

A calf injury prematurely ended D'Arcy's last campaign and ruled him out of both of Leinster's finals and the Ireland summer tour to the United States and Canada.

It may have annoyed him at the time, but the Wexford man now reflects on his break from the game as a positive and he believes that his long rest has left him re-energised for the season ahead. He played 71 minutes against the Scarlets on Saturday and is hoping for more against the Ospreys this weekend.

"Obviously, it was disappointing to miss the two end-of-year games. But I've been around long enough and missed very few big, important matches. You win some and lose some on that front," he said.

"The flip side of that is I got a great holiday, plenty of time off my feet and the fitness guys here had a brilliant programme ready and waiting for me when I came back in. Everything being everything, I couldn't have asked for a better last three or four months' preparation."

Asked what he wants to achieve this season, D'Arcy replied: "Everything."

"To win as many trophies as we can, get into the Irish team and deliver consistently. That is one thing I have – not struggled to do – but there has been interruption with injuries and bits and pieces.

"I might have been playing well and there would be some sort of disruption. I just want to be consistent this season at the highest level I can play at.

If I'm doing that, hopefully, I can make decisions easy for coaches that are picking."

Leinster are hopeful that Luke Fitzgerald's groin injury won't keep him out for long and he trained along with Sean O'Brien yesterday as the Tullow man makes his way back from injury.

Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden could make their seasonal debuts this weekend but Quinn Roux, Michael Bent and the Lions are all a couple of weeks away.

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