Wednesday 11 December 2019

'I actually like to stay at home a lot. That's what my wife says. I'm not a wandering spirit at all'

Scott Fardy
Scott Fardy

Des Berry

The reluctance of Scott Fardy to be the story tells you everything about his wandering spirit.

Not so fast, though.

The Australian is not what you might presume him to be.

Sure, the curriculum vitae screams late-blooming, world traveller with an interest in exploring diverse cultures from Japan all the way to Ireland.

In fact, the truth is far closer to the opposite.

"I'm actually a bit of a crab. I'm a Cancer (star sign)," he said.

"I actually like to stay at home a lot. That's what my wife says. I'm not a wandering spirit at all."

The 35-year-old has moved around, but not in the way others chase the cash.

Otherwise, the back-five forward would have moved to France for the loot and a new language.

"I like home life, my family is very comfortable here in Dublin. Life has changed a lot coming here. We really enjoy it.

"I have no real interest in going around the world too much."

There aren't too many more seasons left in the legs of the veteran, although Fardy tends to trust in the stars.

Any reasonable interpretation of a person born under the Cancer sign involves how they prize trust and loyalty as valuable as any characteristic or trait.

Certainly, Fardy proved as much when deciding to stay in Kamaishi when a Tsunami destroyed the Japanese city in 2012.

It was the place where his rugby career really started, at the Seawaves club. He stuck around to do what he could in the aftermath, despite the Australian embassy offering to fly Fardy home.

"It makes you feel very small because you realise the earth you walk on is shaking and it's completely uncontrollable," said Fardy, when revisiting Kamaishi in late September during the World Cup.

The city had won the right to stage Uruguay's emotionally-charged upset over Fiji, the stadium constructed right in the heart of the devastation and Fardy attended in an ambassadorial role.

Leinster did not stand in Fardy's way when the request was made to travel back to Japan for the most meaningful match of his career.

It meant the Blues had to do without their 'old head' for only the opening round of the PRO14 League.

Fardy marvelled at the transformation that had taken place in a community he had once called home.

"I think it is incredible to have a stadium that has such an emotive story to go with it,” he said.

Perhaps, this human disaster has left an indelible mark on Fardy, one that enables him to see the true value of life given because he saw 1,000 taken away from a small city of 35,000.

In simple terms, he was also secure enough in his skin not to twist Leinster into a two-year deal when last they talked the language of contract.

The time is coming around for that conversation to take place.

Afterall, every family needs a semblance of security, even if it is for just one more year.

"I think if you put a number in your head, that's where you'll go to," he said.

"I'm not desiring to play forever, I know there's an end date on when you play.

"Every guy is different. I had a period at the start of my career when I was in Japan when I wasn't getting bashed around.

"You look at a guy making Test debuts at 21 or 22, I didn't do that.

"I didn't debut in Test rugby until I was 29.

"In terms of life in my legs, I'm feeling pretty good compared to what other guys might be going through."

For now, Fardy is dealing with the rejuvenation of Devin Toner and the automatic selection of James Ryan in the engine room.

That versatility to play in the back row has made him an untradeable asset as one of just two Leinster 'foreign players' with James Lowe.

The immediate concern will centre around how to scupper high-flying French League leaders Lyon at Stadium de Gerland tomorrow afternoon.

It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the season.

Fardy just trusts it is written in the stars.

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