Gordon D'Arcy on his retirement: "It's been an honour and I've loved every minute of it"
Gordon D'Arcy's rugby career will end with the conclusion of the World Cup. The IRFU has handed the 35-year-old centre of 81 international caps a four-month contract extension to what has been a 17-year career.
The Wexford man's wish is to go out on a high this Autumn, even though Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne are currently in place as Ireland's preferred centre partnership.
D'Arcy will finish out this season for Leinster.
He will then work towards making the World Cup squad or, if necessary, train and play with his province on standby, in case of injury to others.
Should D'Arcy make the World Cup cut, he could well play his last game at home for Leinster against Treviso next Friday night.
Earlier today, Leinster posted an emotional letter from D'Arcy on their website in which he confirms he will retire after the World Cup.
"Had the result in Marseille nearly two weeks ago gone our way, this week could have been a lot different but unfortunately it isn't so I am taking this opportunity to announce that I will be retiring from professional rugby at the end of October," says D'Arcy.
"It is a decision that I have not come to lightly but one that sits very easily with me and indeed with my wife, Aoife, and we are confident that I am making the decision for the right reasons.
"My decision has always been that I would leave at this time – after the Rugby World Cup 2015 – and I would like to thank Leinster Rugby and the IRFU for their support in facilitating this process which began last summer. I am so proud, fortunate and honoured to have represented my province and country for 17 seasons but I am leaving on my terms which is how everyone would wish to end their professional rugby careers."
D'Arcy goes on to talk about his early days with Leinster and how his career for the province evolved while he also spoke of his pride in wearing the green jersey for Ireland.
"It is still hard for me to get my head around the fact that I will not be pulling a jersey on again after October. While the blue of Leinster and the green of Ireland stand out for most people, nothing would have been possible without the solid foundations built on Saturday and Sunday mornings in Wexford Wanderers, then nurtured in Clongowes and of course in later years in Landsdowne.
"Throughout it all, I have been honoured to have played with an array of talented players, be coached by great coaches and to have played for the best supporters in the world.
"It has always been an honour to represent my country. I hope to continue that over the coming months and help to achieve something with this very special group of players and staff at the Rugby World Cup."
D'Aarcy also called on Leinster fans to show their support for the team.
"They have achieved this during a time of great transition and now, more than ever, they need your support.
"They will certainly get mine and I'm looking forward to supporting and enjoying the continued success of Leinster over the coming years.
"That being said I will genuinely miss being a Leinster and Irish Rugby player.
"I have loved every moment of it."
Read D'Arcy's letter in full here