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 7.30pm this Saturday.
Leinster Rugby’s most capped player, D’Arcy initially burst onto the Irish rugby scene as a student at Clongowes Wood College. Having declined Warren Gatland’s invitation to link up with Ireland in favour of sitting his Leaving Certificate in 1998, D’Arcy made his senior rugby bow for Leinster against Llannelli that following September. Over the course of 17 years in blue, D’Arcy played 261 times for his province, amassing three Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and four league titles.
An Irish international at 19 having made his debut at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it would be a further four years before he finally established himself on the international stage with a star turn in the Triple Crown triumph of 2004 – a seminal moment in Irish rugby history.
D’Arcy would go on to play for his country on 82 occasions often overcoming increased competition and injury in that time, most notably returning to the fold following a double arm fracture to help Ireland achieve Grand Slam success in 2009.
The IRUPA (now Rugby Players Ireland) Players’ Player of the Year in 2004 and 2007, his longevity and resilience was further proved by his role in Ireland’s Six Nations triumph of 2014 as the Joe Schmidt era took hold. When D’Arcy retired the following year, he did so as Ireland’s longest-serving player.
Additionally, D’Arcy also toured with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2005 and to South Africa in 2009, when he joined as a late replacement.