D’Arcy desperate to live World Cup dream
WE want more. That was the simple message from Gordon D'Arcy yesterday.
Who says four wins on the trot and a first World Cup quarter-final in eight years is not enough to satisfy Irish appetites.
D'Arcy was one of the stand-out performers last weekend in Ireland's 36-6 win over Italy which saw Declan Kidney's men qualify for Saturday's quarter-final showdown against Wales.
However, the Leinster man says it all counts for nothing unless the Irish can kick on from here.
“There's enough experience in the team now to realise that while we've achieved something fantastic it's not where we want to finish,” said D'Arcy. “You look at say Leinster a few years ago, winning a tight quarter-final match and doing a lap of honour and everybody going ‘yay!’ — and then we'd get pumped in the semi-final.
“You tend not to look back and try to look forward and it is much easier to look forward when you've got a big game coming around.
“That does focus the mind. If we were still lamenting what happened in August, we'd all be having a beer on the flight home.
“You are three games away from a World Cup final and if you don't want to be here, you shouldn't be here. This is what you sign your contracts for; this is what you do all that crap for, when you have to push beyond your body's capabilities and you've put yourself into a place where it hurts mentally, physically, everything.
“And to even entertain not wanting to be here at this moment would say a huge amount about your character and that's not a guy you want on your team.”
Kidney is extremely aware of the dangers posed by an in-form Welsh side.
“I was reared on Welsh teams and they can hit you anywhere. They can burn you out wide, they can go up the middle against you, they're good in the set-piece,” he added.
“They're the type of side you'd expect to get in this stage of the competition and I think if you're focusing on any one area they'll burn us somewhere else. We have to treat it as a final.”