Gordon D’Arcy’s injury nightmare is finally over and he is hoping to come off the bench and make an impact for Ireland against France in this evening’s Six Nations opener at Croke Park.
The Leinster centre was voted player of the tournament in 2004 and his inspirational form helped Ireland to the Triple Crown.
However last year disaster struck when, in the opening game against Italy, D’Arcy suffered a multiple fracture to his arm and was ruled our until last December when he made his comeback for Leinster.
“Any time you get an injury it is always good to get back and play rugby and getting into the Irish squad was a nice little added bonus,” stated D’Arcy.
“I had three separate injuries and in a way that made it easier to deal with, I’d get an operation spend a little to in a cast and then start training with the view of being back a couple of weeks after that but each time there was another little set back.
“The fact that it dragged from one season into another was probably the most frustrating thing I really wanted to start the 08/09 season fresh and ready to go but it wasn’t to be,” he continued.
“I had a very good support structure, all the lads in Leinster and the other provinces would stay in touch and wish me the best.”
D’Arcy is hoping that the Ireland players can bring their provincial form to the international stage as they look for a first win over the French in six years.
Leinster and Munster have reached the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup, Connacht have qualified for the last eight of the Challenge Cup and Ulster are putting big results together.
“The most important thing for Ireland is all four provinces are playing well and winning their matches that means players are playing on form with confidence.
“It means there is more competition for places so when we get together as a group it means everybody is pushing each other for a place which can only make the Irish team stronger and better,” claimed D’Arcy.
D’Arcy has won most of his Irish caps beside his Leinster colleague Brian O’Driscoll and paid tribute to the Irish captain.
“Brian is a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘sayer’. He leads by example on the pitch and he sets high standards for himself and he expects everybody to come up to those standards. The thing I have always admired is when he steps onto the pitch whether it’s training or playing in a match he will do anything and everything to win and that is generally what inspires people,” reasoned D’Arcy.
O’Driscoll can also tap into the help of Paul O’Connell who has captained Munster and his country, Ulster cap Rory Best and John Hayes who will win his 90th cap against France and D’Arcy feels that is important to take the pressure of Ireland’s talisman.
“I think he has got a great senior player structure around him at Leinster and Ireland and there is huge amounts of experience so he probably has an easier job because there are so many captains in his team,” D’Arcy concluded.