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Out-half choice irrelevant as long as we triumph – D’Arcy


Gordon D’Arcy is determined to add an Amlin Challenge Cup winners’ medal to his collection

Gordon D’Arcy is determined to add an Amlin Challenge Cup winners’ medal to his collection

Gordon D’Arcy is determined to add an Amlin Challenge Cup winners’ medal to his collection

Gordon D'Arcy has declared that it doesn't matter who starts or finishes at out-half in Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup RDS semi-final – he just wants his team to keep winning trophies.

Jonny Sexton's return from injury to all but confirm his fitness for the Lions tour has coincided with Ian Madigan's blistering form at No 10, highlighted by his stunning performance in the quarter-final rout of Wasps.

That has even led in some quarters to suggestions that Madigan should be rewarded by keeping his starting berth in this competition, with Paris-bound Sexton relegated to the bench.

It seems unconscionable that Sexton, clearly the better player of the two, would not start the run of a potential five successive games in the RDS that might secure Leinster a European and league double.

For his part, D'Arcy is utterly unconcerned at one of the many dilemmas now facing his overworked head coach, Joe Schmidt.

"That's one of the benefits of being a player, you don't have to worry about things like that," smiles the elaborately coiffed D'Arcy, whose current hairstyle might lead one to suspect he was siding with Madigan's claims.

"You want competition across the board. You don't want to be over-reliant on one player because if that player goes down then things can fall down around him.

"To have two exceptionally talented out-halves, we are very lucky. A lot of teams only have one.

"Everybody here is a really good professional.

"One of the things you will always hear said about Joe Schmidt is his man-management of players, and whoever is lucky enough to get the jersey knows he has earned it.

"The other guy knows that Joe will have told him a couple of ways to get back into the team. Everybody accepts it and that is one of the reasons why this group of players is so close and able to play well together week in and week out.

"We are able to accept stuff at face value and we know that Joe is always being honest with us and always trying to push that guy to get the jersey back.

"As a player, the one thing you want is honesty. When you know a coach is being honest with you week in and week out, you can walk away with that knowledge.

"You may not like the answers but at least you know it is the truth, or at least his perception of the truth, and you know what parameters you are working within and how you can affect his vision of you.

"Everybody wants to be in Europe. Winning the Amlin is a nice back door in there.

"It may not be the European trophy we want, but we wanted a European trophy this year and having that massive carrot of playing a semi-final and a final at home was a big drive for the Wasps game.

"It does feel like a European week. There is three times the amount of media here and there is that little bit of tension around the squad, unless somebody does something to lighten it. There is definitely a good buzz around the place, no doubt about it."

Irish Independent