A nightmare to play against.
Gordon D’Arcy has named the toughest centres he came up against throughout his excellent career.
40-year-old D’Arcy has today been inducted into the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame which will come as no surprise considering what he achieved on the pitch.
D’Arcy is Leinster’s most capped player of all time with 261 appearances to his name. During that time he won three Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and three league titles.
On the international front, D’Arcy was equally as impressive. He formed an excellent partnership with Brian O’Driscoll which was the backbone of the Irish backline for many years.
D’Arcy amassed 82 appearances for his country and impressively forced his way back into the international fold in 2009 to help Ireland win a historic Grand Slam after suffering a double arm fracture.
Reflecting on a glittering career, D’Arcy recalls the two toughest centres he lined out against and it will come as little surprise that France legend Yannick Jauzion and New Zealand’s Ma’a Nonu immediately spring to mind.
“Very easy, there’s two of them,” D’Arcy began.
“Yannick Jauzion for France and Ma’a Nonu. Two absolute bulldozers. Jauzion was just incredible. So hard to stop, offloading ability. France built so much off around him. 6’4″ probably 17 stone, just really…and then you have Ma’a Nonu, the same height as me but 16 stone. And just, I think probably he’s the most complete centre in the modern game.”
Of course, Ma’a Nonu is still going strong and the former All Black has recently re-joined Top 14 outfit Toulon for the remainder of the season.
On D’Arcy’s inclusion in the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame, the 40-year-old admits it was a pleasure to play alongside so many greats of the game in both the amateur and professional eras.
“When I first set out, the amateur game was still winding down, and when I retired Irish rugby’s stature in world rugby was firmly secure. It was a pleasure to play my part alongside many great people with whom I now share treasured memories. I am incredibly honoured by this acknowledgement and wish to pay tribute to those who helped me to achieve my dreams.”
Rugby Players Ireland has today announced that Gordon D’Arcy will join a host of iconic Irish rugby heroes in the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame. D’Arcy joins former teammates from the 2009 Grand Slam-winning campaign such as John Hayes (2012), David Wallace (2015) and Ronan O’Gara (2016), while his longstanding centre partner Brian O’Driscoll (2018) also counts amongst an illustrious list.
D’Arcy’s magnificent career will be celebrated at the Zurich Irish Rugby Players Rugby Awards which will be broadcast on Virgin Media Two at 7:30 pm this Saturday.